Many Caymanians are calling for the decriminalization of the consumption and personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
This comes after the heads of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an organization of nations including the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Barbados, Jamaica and others, who recently attended 39th Heads of Government Conference in Montego Bay, St James, reached a consensus to take the necessary steps in their respective countries to review marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.
Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy and magic mushrooms.
The heads of Caribbean nations have agreed to “review marijuana’s current status with a view to reclassification,” noting “human and religious rights” issues stemming from criminalization as well as “the economic benefits to be derived” from legalization.
The move comes after a committee formed by the group recommended replacing cannabis criminalization with legal regulation.
“We also agreed that each member state, in accordance with its own circumstances, would determine its own pathway to pursue the law reforms necessary as proposed by the Regional Marijuana Commission,” said Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is Chairman of CARICOM, at a press conference.
He argued that the approach became unavoidable, as the status of marijuana is a spoke in the wheel of research into medical cannabis.
The Premier’s Office of the Cayman Islands has since indicated that the islands will consider regional recommendations to decriminalize ganja.
“Each Caricom country will want to consider the report and determine the best option for their own people. This certainly is the case with the Cayman Islands. Indeed there is currently no public mandate for decriminalization of marijuana locally,” the Premier’s Office reported.
Marijuana is currently illegal in the Cayman Islands, but is transported illicitly.
In 2016, the governor of the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands approved a change to the Misuse of Drugs Law to allow the importation and use of CBD oil for medical purposes.