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Research Shows Changing Attitudes Towards Cannabis in the Eastern Caribbean

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, September 13, 2018

At least a third of Caribbean citizens in six countries favour partial legalisation of cannabis such as for medicinal use.

This was the finding of several surveys conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) throughout the region from 2016 to 2018.

Co-director at CADRES, Corey Sandiford, made the point during his presentation at the Community Talks held under the theme: The Removal of Prohibitions on Marijuana on September 8 at Queen’s College, Husbands, St James.

He explained that the research entity had been tracking the decriminalization of marijuana in the Eastern Caribbean for some time, and used polls on various issues to gauge public opinion on the topic.

Respondents were asked their “views onpanel discussion (5)ed-9-13-2018.jpg the decriminalization of marijuana” in their respective countries, and provided with three response options as well as the option not to respond. Response options were as follows:

• I think it should be made completely legal (full decriminalisation)

• I think that it should be made legal only for medical or religious purposes

• I think it should remain illegal (in all respects)

• I am not sure/prefer not to say what I think

Support for full legalisation was highest in Grenada (30%) and aggregate support for at least partial decriminalisation was marginally highest in Antigua in 2016 (62%), followed by Grenada (61%) and Dominica (57%).

Opposition to legalisation was marginally highest in St Lucia, although just over half of the population still supported partial legalization.

Additionally, Sandiford pointed out that full legalisation received the majority of support from men and respondents in the 18-30 year olds.

Sandiford was one of the panelists at the Community Talks being held across the island in celebration of The UWI’s 70th anniversary. Other featured speakers were: Adonijah Alleyne from the Ichirouganaim Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR), Dr. Damian Cohall, senior lecturer in pharmacology at The UWI and David Small, director of strategy and the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank. Sociology lecturer, Dr. Alana Griffith, chaired the panel.


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