Pharmacists welcome PM’s medicinal marijuana announcement

Pharmacists welcome PM’s medicinal marijuana announcement
(FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) President Dr Marvin Smith said the association supports Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ announcement concerning legalizing medicinal marijuana in The Bahamas and stands prepared to lend their expertise.

“The Caribbean Association of Pharmacists for a number of years, particularly through the time of my presidency from 2016, has been adamant about our support for the proper research, the proper medicinal use and the proper education of the public on medicinal cannabis,” Smith told Eyewitness News.

Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (CAP) President Dr Marvin Smith.

“Now, we feel that cannabis is a medicine; that all the scientific data going back decades has already proven this.

“We note that cannabis has more emerging uses in medicinal treatment and we are pleased to know that countries across the region are moving towards opening up this avenue of research and healthcare.

“And of course, what comes with it, is that data and support [of] the economic possibilities for the people of the Caribbean.

“I’m particularly pleased, as a Bahamian, that our leaders have made the statement that they are acting, pursuing and interested in getting any assistance that we can — both in the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists, I know that it has been a particular topic of interest for the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association, of which I am a member also.”

While on Abaco earlier this month, the prime minister said the government will introduce legislation in Parliament to legalize medicinal use of the substance so that medical marijuana can be grown by Bahamians, utilized and exported.

He signaled to Bahamians, particularly young people, to be prepared as the government moves “aggressively” towards expunging the records of those who were convicted for minor offenses related to the substance.

Smith continued: “I’m pleased to know there is some official word that we will be moving ahead.

“We’re looking to partner with the government as pharmacists.

“We are the drug and medicine experts in this country.

“We know about medicines. We give out treatments. We’re much willing to lend our expertise at any point.

“I do assume that no real effort to make this a credible foray into medicinal use of cannabis could be done without having the qualified pharmacists in place to speak to the various issues along with other stakeholders — physicians, our nurses and other healthcare providers.

“So, I’m very excited about this and looking forward to seeing how, in a very tangible way, [we] can assist in making this progress, so that the country can benefit and our people who need this care can have access to it.”