is marijuana legal in st maarten


St Maarten News

MARIJUANA COULD SOON BE LEGALIZED DUTCH ST MAARTEN. The use of cannabis for medical purposes could be authorized shortly on the Dutch side; the government of Sint Maarten says it is indeed “ready” in a press release while specifying that the use of cannabis for other purposes would remain prohibited.

This measure is based on a recent report from the Inspectorate VSA (Sint Maarten Health Services) detailing the conditions under which grass would be used, imported, stored and sold on the island for prescription.

The Inspectorate VSA recommends the use of cannabis products in the treatment of specific diseases: nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic non-cancer pain, tics due to the syndrome of Gilles de la Tourette. Use would also be permitted in palliative care in terminally ill patients.

These products may be prescribed when the so-called “standard” products have not had the desired effects on patients. And they can only be approved by a doctor and available only in authorized pharmacies.

MARIJUANA COULD SOON BE LEGALIZED DUTCH ST MAARTEN. The use of cannabis for medical purposes could be authorized shortly on the Dutch side; the…

Is marijuana legal in st maarten

Everybody in Sint Maarten knows somebody who has smoked it and you might get a slap on the wrist if caught with small amounts, but the use of marijuana is neither legalised nor decriminalised, which means it’s still illegal.

Last year it was announced that Sint Maarten was ready for the prescription of medical cannabis, but nothing in terms of decriminalising small amounts for recreational use.

Roland “Bushman” Joe, Founder of the Freedom Fighters Foundation and Herbal Awareness SXM said the time has come for Sint Maarten to legalise marijuana.

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The Freedom Fighters Foundation founder laments too many people in the past have been locked up or crucified just for using marijuana for medical reasons and believes it should be made legal across the board.

“We as rasta, if we are dealing with the herb, we keep it pure and natural. We don’t promote smoking of marijuana for children,” said Joe.

He believes politicians are keeping themselves in bondage by delaying its legalisation, noting that in the Netherlands, cannabis is widely tolerated.

“We just came out of Hurricane Irma three to four years ago which nearly destroyed the island and the politicians were out there begging for help financially. If we had a marijuana business running, we wouldn’t have to beg people for nothing, because it could generate good money especially as a tourist destination,” said Joe.

Loop News reached out to the Party for Progress in Sint Maarten to find out its views about the decriminalisation of marijuana for both medical use and leisure purposes.

Political leader Melissa Gumbs believes it could be done taking into consideration that any move to do it needs to come packaged with careful regulation and control mechanisms.

She stated this is the norm in most countries and States where marijuana has been decriminalised.

“It’s an industry that we believe should include better regional cooperation with our immediate and more distant neighbours, for knowledge exchange and development purposes.

Throughout the election campaign when we were asked this question, we also stressed the fact that any step towards decriminalisation must first protect and prioritise any local growers and distributors.

We run the risk of having it become a situation like our public transport, where operational licences are held by a few and then rented out to those who actually execute the work,” said Gumbs.

Herbal Awareness SXM which positions itself as the people’s voice for cannabis legalisation once again reached out to the government on the responsible legalisation of adult recreational use of cannabis on the island.

This was acknowledged in a recent statement by Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion who met with the organisation on September 11.

The Minister said executing the local development of the cannabis industry on the island in a responsible and structured manner could result in the direct and indirect funding of other sectors, benefitting the island.

Examples of this would be extra funds that can be invested in education, infrastructure-based development, the orange economy, green energy alternatives like solar, water and wind energy.

He stated the execution of this would also mean an increase in agricultural infrastructure on Sint Maarten, which is very positive, seeing as agriculture has had a significant uptick in interest amongst the community since the lockdown began earlier this year.

“I am looking forward to getting a proper authority established on the island for the legal use of cannabis. This would be a potentially great stream of income for Sint Maarten, especially during these financially trying times.

As a parliamentarian, I submitted a request on this matter to the Social Economic Council (SER). The request concerned the execution of a study to determine the economic benefits and impact that the medical cannabis industry would have on the island. I would be happy to see it come full circle.

Having experts involved in the process is pertinent to ensuring there isn’t just oversight theoretically but also functionally,” said Irion.

Herbal Awareness SXM will be sending in an official request to the Council of Ministers to give their presentation on the local development of the cannabis industry on Sint Maarten.

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