Legislation to decriminalise marijuana use tabled in St Kitts

St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris will on Wednesday tabled legislation aimed at decriminalising the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, joining a number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that have done so in recent months.

According to the Order paper, Harris will table the Cannabis Bill, 2020, which seeks to establish the Medicinal Cannabis Authority “in order to provide for the lawful access to medicinal cannabis as an alternative treatment for persons who are suffering from a qualifying medical condition”.

The legislation will also provide for a comprehensive licensing scheme to regulate the cultivation, supply, possession, production and use of medicinal cannabis. It will also seek to establish a board with responsibility for the policy, strategic direction and governance of the Authority.

Ticketable offence

In addition, the coalition Team Unity administration will also table the Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which makes it a ticketable offence for possession of up to 56 grams of cannabis or up to 15 grams of cannabis resin.

Attorney General, Vincent Byron will also move the second reading of the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, dealing with the expungement of records for persons convicted for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The government said that the new legislation takes into account the unanimous recommendations of the National Marijuana Commission, which presented its report after a near two-year period.