The discussion of whether marijuana should be decriminalised in the Territory has been informally discussed by Government. Mention of the conversation among Government Ministers was made by Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith.
During his press conference on 16 February Premier Smith disclosed that government members have discussed marijuana legalization, however he noted that the discourse has not been forwarded to Cabinet.
“It’s not a topic for discussion in Cabinet at this time, but it is a topic for discussion among members…But as we discuss it further, maybe there might be a Cabinet paper about it, but there have been discussions about that…For example, the question about persons who are incarcerated for just smoking a joint, that is being discussed,” Hon. Smith added.
This is not the first time the question about marijuana decriminalisation has been put to the BVI Leader. In 2014 during the 3 November, NDP radio programme a resident boldly enquired about the Government’s position on the medical marijuana industry. He told the panel of Government Ministers “We are living in a time of the Virgin Islands history when we have two doctors; one is the Premier, and one is the Deputy Premier. The doctors in the world are trying to legalise medicine marijuana, but we are not hearing anything from the Government here.”
In response to the caller’s statement, Premier Smith recommended that more information be attained before medical marijuana use is advocated in the community. In fact, the BVI Leader said: “In many other areas it is suggested that there are also some benefits, but these are benefits which have to be well selected and carefully chosen. I think that it is something that we as a community, we as a medical community will have to study carefully before we get around to using those in the community or hospital services.”