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Why thrust a person of questionable character on us?

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Fri Sep 20, 2013

Editor: It is very difficult to escape being dragged into the various socio-economic and political debates led by the various “pundits” on the medicinal values and uses of marijuana. The latest among them is Prime Minister Gonsalves, who is now an advocate for medical marijuana as an economic industry. In a letter dated 02/09/2013, to CARICOM Chairperson Prime Minister Kamala Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago, PM Gonsalves requested that Medical Marijuana, be tabled as a subject for discussion at the next sitting of CARICOM heads.{{more}}

In a disclosure of the letter, at a press conference on 11/09/2013, Gonsalves, among other things, said:

“Right now, as I speak to you… there are upstanding people in this society whom I know personally, when they can’t open their hand properly, because of arthritis, they smoke ganja. I know persons who go to communion in the Catholic Church… boil the ganja bush and drink the tea to ease their pain… somehow I am confident that Vincentians would say, and the people across the Caribbean would say, thank God for the leadership of Comrade Ralph.” (SEARCHLIGHT 13/09/2013)

Let me state categorically, Ralph Gonsalves has absolutely no understanding of the pharmaceutical and or pharmacological properties of the marijuana plant. Dr Gonsalves is not a medical practitioner. In all my thirty-odd years of practice as a clinical pharmacist, I have never heard such nonsense, not from among my colleagues nor from any doctor or nurse. Dr Gonsalves, I challenge you to do a documentary on your findings and if you are proven right, the whole world would give God thanks for your leadership, because you certainly would have rid the world of the various musculoskeletal problems that have plagued mankind since time immemorial.

The SEARCHLIGHT of 28/05/2010, under the caption: PM WILL HAVE NO ‘DUDUS’ UNDER HIS WATCH, quotes Dr Gonsalves thus: “Give them a chance they will do exactly like Dudus. We have a lot of copy cats. I assure you. You ain’t going to have that on my watch. I assure you of that.”

According to the SEARCHLIGHT of Tuesday 10/09/2013, PM Gonsalves said: “Bunny has been writing to me sometime, quite sometime now, wanting to talk with me, since last year…he is interested in citizenship in St Vincent.”

Note the sequence of events. Gonsalves disclosed to SEARCHLIGHT that Bunny Wailer wrote to him on 4th September, a copy of which is printed on page five of SEARCHLIGHT. In the letter, Bunny indicated that he wants to discuss the legalization of marijuana: “The issues and context for the legalization of ganja that is imminent in a regional and hemispheric sense is part of the realignment, where I have also attached our position on this matter.” Gonsalves wrote to CARICOM on 02/09/2013, Bunny wrote him on 04/09/2013. Gonsalves met the press on 11/09/2013, the debate is marijuana. You see, therefore, the prominence of Bunny Wailer in the debate.

According to WIKIPEDIA, Bunny Wailer, besides being a three-time Grammy Award winner, “was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis in June 1967 and served a 14-month prison sentence.”

If, according to WIKIPEDIA, Bunny Wailer has been a convicted felon, (I can’t verify it and I wish for the good of the nation, the Prime Minister would); then it is infra dig for the Prime Minister to thrust upon us, a person of such questionable character and most of all to discuss, according to Bunny Wailer, among other things, the legalization of marijuana. The Prime Minister never ceases to remind us that the NDP chief spokesperson E.G. Lynch is a convicted felon. How dare he use the nation’s resources to lay out a red carpet to another convicted felon?

Matthew Thomas

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