Ganja farmers want permission to move crops to safer location
Ganja farmers who operate farms on the slopes of La Soufriere want Government’s assurance that they will be allowed to move their crop to safer locations without it being seized by the police.
On December 29, the Volcano Hazard Alert Level at La Soufriere was raised to orange, meaning eruptions may occur at the volcano with less than 24 hours’ notice.
Members of the public were therefore ordered to stay away from the volcano and traditional cultivators of cannabis were told to vacate the hills for their own safety.
Junior “Spirit” Cottle, president of the Cannabis Revival Committee (CRC) said in a January 4, 2021 release that in vacating their farms, traditional cultivators will leave “unattended thousands of dollars’ worth of produce in which they have invested, following the passage of an amnesty law, which makes it legal for them to grow their ganja and to sell it to licensed purchasers.”
Cottle commented that one farmer said: “It is as if we have been struck with a double dose of poison,” adding that while others got Covid-19 stimulus packages, ganja farmers did not.
“First, it was Covid. Everybody else get some kind of stimulus, except the ganja man and his family.”
Cottle said “Interestingly, traditional growers welcomed the Amnesty because they see it as an opportunity to transition from their illicit and unsustainable economic activities to more stable and sustainable ways. They have gone the extra mile by crediting and borrowing monies from friends and relatives for this venture.
“Suddenly, up comes the volcano, impacting upon them more than anyone else.”
The CRC is therefore “calling on the Government, and also, the Parliamentary Opposition, and concerned Vincentians for their support, to allow traditional cultivators to move their stored cannabis to more secured and safer grounds, without it being seized by the police, bearing in mind, the nature of the Amnesty, as well as growers livelihood.
“YOU CAN’T ALLOW US TO GROW, REAP IT, AND THEN SEIZE IT,” the release said.