Discussion: Recent statements by one of the Vice Presidents of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews, that the NDP will “lift ganja farmers higher” was good news for some people.
But, there are other people who remember the reign of terror the NDP unleashed on marijuana farmers in the 1990’s.
Under the NDP administration, marijuana farms were often raided, with assistance from US troops and considerable numbers of plants destroyed.
According to a New York Times article published on March 4, 1999, more than one million marijuana plants were destroyed in December 1998, with the help of American troops. The raids on ganja farms by the NDP were not limited to that year.
People who still farm ganja today tell stories on how they managed to get certain body scars, running from helicopters, jumping over cliffs, and suffering broken bones after being chased out of their marijuana farmlands, in the 1990s under the NDP administration.
But, in a recent campaign speech, Mr. Matthews, who also the NDP’s Shadow Minister of Agriculture, acknowledged that there were changing attitudes in the world concerning marijuana since its medicinal value started being explored.
He took the marijuana narrative to different heights, proposing that two (2) onces should be allowed for recreational purposes and that persons should be allowed to plant up to five plants in their backyards.
Though the proposal has been welcomed by some, it has received criticism in some circles, where persons such as the Finance Minister, Camillo Gonsalves have argued that the value of marijuana can decrease if everyone is allowed to plant.
Some persons have even suggested that there could be legal ramifications and sanctions in the international community if marijuana decriminalization or legalization is not handled by International law.
In 2018, St. Vincent and the Grenadines decriminalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Licenses were given out to several traditional local ganja farmers and foreign investors to develop the local medicinal cannabis industry, in line with international standards.
Your comments on this discussion are welcome.