Monday 12th March, 2018 – Two Canadian citizens, one a medical doctor and the other an entrepreneur recently met with Cabinet to discuss ways in which Antigua and Barbuda could benefit from the legalization of Cannabis.
According to Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, discussions centered on the laws of Canada and the way in which Antigua and Barbuda can make products that would help to reduce pain, lower blood pressure and reduce other kinds of ailments.
Government has spoken of its intention to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, though that may be some ways off.
As a first step, government has eased the law on the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Through public consultation and passage through both houses of parliament, an amended law now provides for marijuana users to consume up to 15 grammes of the herb, without facing prosecution. Under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill, 2018, persons will also be allowed to plant a maximum 4 cannabis plants on their properties.
However, there are strict rule and regulations. Persons held with more of the herb that is provided for in the law may face prosecution. Additionally, the consumption of cannabis will be forbidden in public places.