Marijuana proponents rally for legalization 

Marijuana proponents rally for legalization 
A marijuana plant.

Local advocacy group, Marijuana Bahamas, is lobbying for the government to seriously consider the medical and economic gains of marijuana.

The plant’s international market value has grown exponentially in the past decade and is expected to reach a sales revenue of $50 billion by 2020.

Founder of Marijuana Bahamas, Renauldo Cartwright, continues to tout the benefits of decriminalizing the drug.

“We see The Bahamas as being able to start our agriculture industry and restart our textile by allowing young people to have ownership in new industries as a result of decriminalizing marijuana is a step in the right direction,” he said.

“In the textile industry, we can use Cannabis to make lotion, rope and textiles. There are so many options for us to consider, which will bring the country’s economic gain.”

Jamaica legalized the plant three years ago and its legislators are hoping that it will eventually boost the country’s economy.

Cartwright says The Bahamas needs to strike while the iron is hot.

“We cannot be the persons on the back end,” he said. “We need to be the pioneers of this movement. We cannot wait on the United States to do studies and drop the FDA ruling because the first persons in the door are the ones to really benefit.

Regardless of the giant steps, the world continues to make toward decriminalizing the herb, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the government is firm on its current position.

“I want to say this, any other discussion on this matter now becomes entirely speculative because we have already stated what will be the process with approaching the conversation on marijuana,” said Dr. Sands.

“It’s sexy and everyone wants to hear it and they are intrigued to know how to progressive this administration is and what is our stand on the United States’ approach to it of the regional approach to it. The official position of the government of The Bahamas is that we will continue to follow CARICOM’s lead on this and that we are not going to be driving this conversation. We are going to listen, then we are going to engage each other and then we are going to move the goal post a little bit forward.”

The government is expected to engage in the regional discussion on marijuana when CARICOM meets in June.