In the face of recent developments in Ontario Canada including plans for full liberalization of marijuana in July of 2018, one of Grenada’s leading defense lawyers and lead spokesman for the movement to liberalize the banned herb in Grenada for medicinal use, is again making an appeal to the powers that be to follow the direction of the more developed countries.
Speaking to the Grenada Informer during an exclusive interview last Friday defence lawyer Anselm Clouden said the time has come for more sober thinking; putting Grenada first and doing what is best for the country in these tough economic times.
Having recently visited Canada, Clouden said he had the opportunity to hold discussions with some top members of the political directorate of the ruling Liberal Party and was heartened by some of his findings; among them the Canadian Government’s plans for Marijuana.
The Grenadian lawyer noted that already systems are being put in place to table the new marijuana legislation before the Canadian Parliament. Once this is done he said there would a certain level of expectation from the Canadian tourists moving to countries outside of Canada.
It must be noted Clouden said that countries like Grenada, which benefit immensely from the Canadian tourist dollars need to put the necessary mechanisms in place to deal with such developments. Canadian nationals he said would have reservations about flying to Grenada if travelling with marijuana, as a prescribed drug would land them in jail.
The Grenadian lawyer said Grenada would have to follow the direction taken by Jamaica whereupon persons entering with marijuana as a prescribed drug could register with the immigration authorities and relate their position. Outside of that, he said Grenada would be unable to compete on the tourism market.
Clouden said given this new development that is about to take place in Canada, one college has taken the initiative to offers courses to students wishing to pursue studies in Marijuana/Cannabis Production.
The Grenadian lawyer noted that according to an article published in The Globe and Mail one of the leading newspapers in Canada last week, it was said that Niagara College would launch Canada’s first accredited programme in the field of cannabis production.
The article went on to say that with the coming on stream of marijuana liberalization, producers need to be highly skilled well-trained individuals who know more than how to plant two or three plants in a room. Instead, it went on to say “they need a graduate who knows how to create a healthy crop in a very large facility and a graduate who is aware of the regulatory reality.”
Some of the courses to be offered during the eight-month programme the article said include Cannabis Production, Plant Science, Laws and Regulation and Post Harvest Treatment.
Clouden said what is interesting to note is that the course offered is not solely for Canadian students, but Latin America and the Caribbean as well. Based on his discussions with the Canadian authorities; Clouden said they are willing to offer scholarships to two Grenadian students willing to travel to Canada and therefore persons willing can be assured of his assistance in guiding the process.
Responding to the likely benefit to be derived from such a move in the face of a criminal ban on the use or possession of cannabis in Grenada, Clouden said as a people we have to put systems in place for the future, he is of the view that senior officers within the Ministry of Agriculture should be allowed to avail themselves of the studies that might be of benefit to Grenada in the not too distant future. Clouden said individuals like Parliamentarian Tobias Clement could assist in educating those in authority on the potential economic benefit that could be had by taking advantage of this opportunity.
Clouden has led the call for cannabis liberalization in Grenada since 1992. He said is not prepared to give up, given the importance of what he called this miracle herb both in terms of its medical value and economic benefits. Grenada he noted possesses top quality soil and we cannot be left behind but must enter the arena as a major exporting country.
Grenada, the defence lawyer said, stands a far better chance of earning much-needed revenue and foreign exchange from the growth and sale of marijuana than depending on oil and gas that would not materialize anytime soon.