Group forms Cannabis Revival Committee in SVG
February 6, 2015
Group forms Cannabis Revival Committee in SVG

A movement going by the name St Vincent and the Grenadines Cannabis Revival Committee (SVG CRC) has been formed.

The group came into being on Saturday, January 31, during a meeting of more than 20 persons at the University of the West Indies Open Campus.

At that meeting, an interim committee, {{more}}led by chair Junior ‘Spirit’ Cottle, was elected and charged with charting the way forward for the CRC.

Other members of the executive are: Alvin Buffa Collins – general secretary, Hassan Kennedy – financial comptroller; Bongo Shaka Dabreo – public relations officer; Empress Modupe Olufunmi – education officer and JP Schwmon – secretary. Committee members are: Ajit Duncan, Ras Jacaob and Ras Zebi.

According to a release from the group, the SVG CRC was formed following consultations in two rural communities, as well as in Kingstown.

The release said the movement is founded on three primary platforms, the first being Decriminalization and Legalization.

“The possession of cannabis – no matter how small the quantity – is a criminal offence in SVG. Many of our people, particularly the young, are seen as criminals because of this, while many others are imprisoned as a result. The illegalization of the herb retards the development and progress of our youths and, by extension, the very future of our country.

The SVG CRC is therefore calling for the decriminalization of Cannabis, and ultimately, its legalization,” the release said.

The second platform is Alternative Livelihood.

“The illegal cultivation and subsequent distribution of cannabis is the largest contributor to our informal economy. Many Vincentians are engaged in these kinds of economic activities due to rising unemployment and poverty. In other words, they have little or no other alternative. This CANNOT be good for St Vincent and the Grenadines. The illegal cultivation and distribution of cannabis must not be the primary economic activity for our young people. The SVG CRC therefore calls for alternative economic options, including the promotion of safe and sustainable alternative use of this plant.”

Medical Cannabis is the third platform.

“Cannabis has many benefits – medically, socially and spiritually. The health benefits of the herb is currently on the agenda of the Heads of Government of CARICOM for discussion. We support the call by Prime Minister Dr Ralph E Gonsalves for CARICOM leaders to engage in this discussion and strongly urge this august body to stop dragging their feet on the matter. CARICOM leaders must also consult, engage and include all stakeholders in their cannabis reform initiative.”

According to the release, following an upcoming executive meeting, the CRC is expecting to host several nationwide consultations and education initiatives as part of its current mandate.