DPM on marijuana: We have to weigh the benefits

DPM on marijuana: We have to weigh the benefits
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – This nation must carefully weigh the benefits and the liabilities that come with a legalized medical marijuana industry, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest.

Turnquest was asked about the recently released leaked preliminary report by the Bahamas National Commission on marijuana, which green-lighted both recreational and medicinal marijuana.

The preliminary report features recommendations from various subcommittees on the medical, economic, religious and recreational use of cannabis in The Bahamas – and called for Bahamians to own 51 percent of the industry in a legalized framework..

The BNC also recommended the government set cannabis tax not exceeding ten percent.

Turnquest said: “I think it’s probably best that I reserve my opinion on that. I do have some feelings with respect to it.

“We recognize generally that there may be some benefit to it; the Prime Minister has spoken to it but until we get the final report I’m reluctant to comment too much other than to say that however it shakes out we have to consider the benefits and the liabilities that come with the legalization or decriminalization of that substance.”

He added: “What we would not want to do is cost more harm. We have to consider both sides.

“We have to look at the report, analyze it and determine what the financial  benefits are, what the potential financial liabilities are with respect to the social cost and with respect to the direct cost which will have an effect or bearing on what taxation may be appropriate for the industry.”