Bishop Simeon Hall and former deputy commissioner of police Quinn McCartney have been appointed as co-chairs to head the local Marijuana Commission, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands revealed Tuesday.
Hall served on CARICOM’s commission that presented its report at the general meeting in July, which recommended the reclassification of marijuana from a dangerous drug to a controlled substance and that marijuana be legalized.
Sands said the other members of the committee are expected to be announced soon, adding that government hopes to get input from a wide-ranging cross-section of the community.
“We want members that are reflective of the community and if that includes members from the Rastafarian community then so be it,” Dr. Sands said. “We need balance and we hope to get those who are for it and those who have more conservative views.”
Cabinet, he said, has referred the matter to the Ministry of Health and they are moving to get the right people on board.
The CARICOM’s report discussed the potential economic, legal and social implications as well as health applications of the plant’s use.
While the report suggested a ban on the substance in public places, it also called for the decriminalization of marijuana and suggested that persons with past marijuana-related offences should have their records expunged.
The government has said that the local committee will be responsible for garnering public opinion through town meetings an establishing a public education campaign before reporting to Cabinet on with their recommendation on which direction government should follow in this regard.