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‘Medical ganja’ could help SVG

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23.MAR.07

Editor: The world is on the edge of a religious war which is spreading its wings over us all. Religion can be seen as having a negative aspect and it is causing division among us. We have religious extremists who believe that killing can quite rightly be done in the name of God. We have those who believe that the Jews are the only ones who will be going to Heaven and a variety of different beliefs and principles. The Rastafarian community embraces the principles of love, peace and togetherness. They believe in the repatriation to the home land Africa. The smoking of marijuana is one of their main practices. As a black democratic society let us learn to appreciate our religious and cultural differences and thank God that we do not have many adherents to the religious extremism that breathes violence.{{more}}

The bashing of the marijuana trade has me wondering where we are going and how seriously have we emancipated ourselves mentally. How black are we? How serious are we about our history preserving law and order? We need to be careful about our claim to uphold the legal principles of equality before the law of free and fair trial for all and of people being innocent until proven guilty.

I am aware of the claim that marijuana destroys the mind, however doctors and researchers reach conclusions which are conducive to their different purposes and the directives of those for whom they are researching. I suspect some may reach their own conclusions, as to my ulterior motive for being apologetic of the marijuana trade but I believe in the defence of those who like myself believe that if one cannot provide an alternative commercial activity one should not condemn the activity in question.

The NDP has made an out cry against marijuana farmers and support the pardoning of rapists, murderers over the farmers. The NDP appears to be oblivious of the importance of the marijuana trade to this country and of the hard fact that marijuana farming provides wide employment opportunities for many Vincentians.

It has been a hidden driver of the economy, ask business owners who will attest to the significant contribution made to their businesses. This hidden economic activity has tremendous potential for LDCs. If only we could work together to make this good. Just imagine the benefits we would receive if we could develop by-products from marijuana plants for medical purposes or event technological advances.

The NDP has in the past enjoyed rewards from this trade. In the early years and up to the end of the NDP administration. Marijuana cultivation provided as much boost to the economy as did banana. The NDP when they were ruling got much credit from this and attributes it to prudent economic management. I know better. Some people believe that the glory days of bananas and marijuana will return with the NDP, I definitely say not.

Ariston Dennie

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