Attorney-at-Law Anslem Clouden has announced plans for the holding of a national debate on the legalisation of marijuana in Grenada.

Clouden, who can be considered as the most vocal local advocate for the decriminalisation of the natural herb, is spearheading efforts to get the debate started after the Easter holidays.

Speaking at a press conference at his law office on Lucas Street in St. George’s, the outspoken attorney Clouden, appealed to all Grenadians who wish to have cannabis decriminalised to give support to a petition, which will be presented to parliament at an appropriate time.

“I am appealing to all Grenadians of all walks of life, in their respective constituencies, to begin accumulating names by forming a petition…we have started this in Carriacou and I encourage all those who are concerned with the decriminalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes and to some extent for recreational purposes to accumulate names of those who would wish to see that done in their respective parishes and at an appropriate time, we will submit it to the parliament of the country,” he said.

According to Clouden, who is one of several individuals who will chair the island-wide discussion on the decriminalisation of the cannabis, the sessions would be geared at engaging the populace in a debate as to whether they would wish to have marijuana decriminalised.

With his eyes set on targeting the politicians who will run for a seat in the next General Elections, constitutionally due in 2023, Attorney Clouden said, “The general feeling is that the politicians would react to a public outcry only if it is properly organised”.

“…This issue must be put on the table for general discussion and debate,” he declared.

Clouden said: “Those who are concerned (would be given an opportunity) to exercise their franchise at the appropriate time to ensure that their voices are being heard and that whatever government comes into office, would give priority to the decriminalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes and for export of medicinal marijuana to countries that are in the pharmaceutical business of preparing tablets and the like for different ailments as the case may be.”

The attorney pointed out that the upcoming seminars will “involve all persons, those at secondary schools, those who are sick and in need of medical marijuana to educate them as (to) the benefits that would accrue to them at home and abroad.”

Clouden, who is very active in criminal law, spoke of an organisation of like-minded people that is being formed to push this process to take the issue to the people with the “hope that the government would respond.”

He stressed that since his last press conference on the decriminalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, St. Vincent and a number of other countries have decriminalised and in some instances legalised the herb.

“We have Antigua and St. Vincent, St. Lucia is in the course of promulgating legislation as I speak to decriminalise cannabis for medicinal purposes and for export. We are losing the boat, there are huge contracts (for marijuana”, he said.

Clouden indicated that presently there is a shortage of marijuana on the Canadian market for medicinal purposes and that the British are now considering legislation to decriminalise the herb for medicinal purposes.

“There have been experiments done in England over the years and I think they are ready to put legislation in place so that people who suffer from medical ailments can have access to medicinal marijuana,” he remarked.

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