By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Tuesday (January 28) reiterated the Guyana Government’s zero tolerance approach for the legalization of Marijuana locally.
Rohee told reporters that there will be no negotiations on the Government’s part in the face of calls for the herb to be legalized whether for medical purposes or otherwise.
He said the Administration will continue to go after persons found with the drug in their possession because it remains illicit.
“It remains illegal here and up until those change, we will actively pursue those who cultivate and supply it.”
The Home Affairs Minister did acknowledge that the drug has been legalized in other territories for medical purposes but maintained that legalising the drug here could have serious implications for the country.
When asked about fears of being isolated as a country for going this route, Rohee said he is not afraid of that.
The Home Affairs Minister said that Guyana’s decision may also form part of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) decision.
In September, 2013 Prime Minister of St. Vincent Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had written to the Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping calling for a discussion on the medicinal and other uses of marijuana.
In his letter, Gonsalves had said it was high time CARICOM address regionally “this matter in a sensible focus not hysterical manner”.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that the marijuana plant has a bundle of proven and potentially beneficial uses and while it is true that its use and abuse and the consequential criminalization of its cultivation, possession and supply have impacted on the health, welfare and security of the people.
Gonsalves in his letter made a plea for “a reasoned debate” led by CARICOM political and civic leadership in the context of the legislation of marijuana.
Meanwhile, distinguished Caribbean professionals including Jamaican chemist and cancer researcher, Dr. Henry Lowe have been urging the use of marijuana product for a range of medical purposes.
The Jamaican Government has also come under heavy pressure and criticism for its non-support to legalize the drug.