By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
As yet another weekend ‘lockdown’ looms, Bahamian unemployment creeped toward a staggering 30%, disgruntled, unemployed and recently laid off Bahamians, continued to wait for relief from NIB.
NIB payments are still moving at a snail’s pace, with news now surfacing of certain businesses allegedly deducting NIB contributions from their staff salaries, only to not pay NIB.
(The plot thickens)
All the while our boarders remain closed, and our tourism product (our number one industry) is dead in the water.
Maybe it’s time once again, to look at other options.
Might I suggest, like I’ve done several times already on this platform, the legalisation, decriminalisation and taxation of medicinal and recreational marijuana.
Let’s have a closer look at two countries, that have been trailblazers in the region, in regards to legalising and taxing marijuana for medicinal and recreational use and for exportation internationally.
Both models would work ideally in the Bahamas.
The exact amount of time, the country will have to wait, remains to be seen, due to the global COViD-19 pandemic. However that could all change in the blink of an eye.
Regulations were initially due at the end of April, but now, Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries now claim they are unable to commit to a date, that all related information, will be published.
Minister Audley Shaw, explained that “The work is still being done on having the regulations complete.”
“While a lot of work has already been completed, it is still due to be submitted to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for further review.”
The delay was expected in Jamaica, and experts believe, that COVID-19 will set things back by as much as a year when it comes to cannabis progress in the Caribbean.
Regionally, despite the delays, many are happy that progress is finally being made in Jamaica, in this regard.
Even if the logistics remain up in the air.
Felicia Bailey, the Director of Research Development and Communications at Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority offered these comments.
“We are a forward-thinking organisation, and we firmly believe that there is a scope for work to be undertaken within the global drug control framework, which encourages pioneering solutions aimed at ensuring the availability of and access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion.”
“Even now, our licensees are able to export by coming to us with import permits from the country they wish to export to and we do what is required to facilitate that.”
In short order Jamaica, is set to become major players in the Carribean cannabis industry, and reap the rewards, once export regulations are finally approved and social distancing is no longer required.
Cannabis is a very strong and lucrative alternative to their Tourism model.
(PLEASE TAKE NOTE ‘DOC’)
Now before all of you against legalising marijuana, especially those concerned with its affect on the youth of the nation get up in arms, please see Uruguay!
URUGAY - THE PROTOTYPE
Some seven years after it became the first country in the world to fully legalise marijuana, Uruguay’s youth are no more likely to get high under the new law, according to a recent, in-depth study, conducted by the International Journal of Drug Policy.
In a soon to be released report and article to be published in the International Journal of Drug Policy next month revealed and I quote -
“There is no evidence of an impact on cannabis use, or the perceived risk of use among adolescents in the country. Neither an increase in student perception of cannabis availability, following legalisation.”
In 2013 Uruguay passed the most far-reaching form of legalisation in the world to date.
By law in Uruguay -
• Cannabis sales are restricted to those age 18 or older who register with the state.
• Other products may only be produced by state-licensed producers and sold at specially licensed pharmacies.
• THC levels are capped by regulators and government price controls, of about $1.30 are imposed upon the flower.
Yet another revenue stream to Uruguay’s bottom line, from recreational users.
Added to the already existing, healthy revenue from medicinal marijuana, Uruguay has possibly created the blueprint for the region, in relation to the legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana.
(PLEASE TAKE NOTE ‘DOC’)
Until next week, be safe out there.
I’m off to catch my good friend, comedian Craig P Robinson in Pineapple Express, Netflix is gonna get ‘beat bad’ this weekend.