BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 31, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – After a little more than a day of insightful presentations, the Drugs (Prevention and Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, had its third reading and was successfully passed in the National Assembly earlier today, Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
The historic legislative amendments are geared towards the establishment of a marijuana industry and regulate the use of marijuana/cannabis for medicinal and scientific, religious and recreational purposes in the Federation.
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, was the mover of the Bill. While wrapping up the debate, Prime Minister Harris stated that the Government is attempting to significantly transform the landscape within which cannabis/marijuana is being decriminalized.
“We will, through our legislative enactments, rehabilitate the lives of hundreds of our young people by expunging their records where such a record was a consequence of punishment sentenced on them for being in breach of the laws on cultivation and possession of marijuana. For some of them the rehabilitation of their records will represent a genuine fresh start. A fresh start to a new job. A fresh start to new opportunities. A fresh start to a U. S. visa. A fresh start to be a better example to a daughter, to a son, to a family member and a friend. A fresh start to becoming a new creation and a brand new man or young woman,” the prime minister said.
The landmark legislative amendments received the strongest of support from the majority of the Members of Parliament, including from the Attorney General, the Honourable Vincent Byron who gave a comprehensive account to the constitutional and international legal framework on this matter, and Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps who touched on the importance of health to the quality of our life.