Saint Lucia’s opposition leader Philip J. Pierre has told an audience of Saint Lucians living in the United States that Rastafarians have to benefit from any cannabis industry that is established in Saint Lucia.

“We believe that these people have to benefit if marijuana ever becomes a crop where we can make money,” Pierre asserted.

“You may recall that the people who they put the most pressure on most for cannabis was the Rastafarians,” he told the audience.

Some members of the audience

“They assumed that once you had locks you smoked marijuana even though the Rastas said the marijuana was for their religious purposes. They used to burn their farms  and do all kinds of things,”  the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader observed.

He declared that a cannabis industry in Saint Lucia cannot be one from which the same people who jailed the Rastafarians and exploited them benefit.

“The Rastafarians must benefit from that,” the Castries East MP declared.

He said his party’s position on cannabis is clear.

“We said as soon as we get into government we are going to ensure that there is a pardon for anybody who was convicted or imprisoned and they have a record for the use of small amounts of cannabis,” Pierre recalled.

He noted that there are a number of individuals who cannot get a United States visa because they went to jail or were convicted for “one joint or two joints” of marijuana.

“We think that is unfair and that must come to and end,” Pierre explained.

“But we also said that we are going to have a study on the use of cannabis for health purposes, export and medicinal value. We are going to get the experts to look at that to see how we can get to a common solution on that with a view further to decriminalising cannabis,” the SLP leader told the Brooklyn, New York audience.

By GVD

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