**PRESS RELEASE** - Antigua and Barbuda to legalise and regulate cannabis

Press Release

17 April 2018

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Antigua and Barbuda to legalise and regulate cannabis

 

Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has announced the legalisation and regulation of medical and non-medical cannabis.

 

In the announcement, the Prime Minister explains that the prohibition of cannabis was not prompted by the health or well-being of users, but to serve the “racist, political and economic interests of the global powers at that time”.

 

The Prime Minister then announces his government’s plans to legalise cannabis for medicinal and “other” uses.

 

Mr. Browne goes on to apologise to the Rastafarian community for the demonisation and brutalisation that has been inflicted upon them by police and other government authorities because of prohibition.

 

Mr. Browne is in the UK this week attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, so journalists are encouraged to ask him about the announcement in person.

 

Commenting on the announcement, Ben Campbell from Transform said:

 

“This is very welcome news from the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, which will be the first Caribbean nation to legalise and regulate cannabis.

 

“What is even more remarkable is the fact that Mr. Browne acknowledges the damage to the Rastafarian community caused by prohibition, and goes as far as issuing an official apology.

 

“He also recognises that prohibition does not look after peoples’ health, but instead accuses prohibition of serving the racist and self serving needs of global powers – something Transform wholeheartedly agrees with.

 

“We would strongly encourage other Commonwealth Heads of Government to follow the lead of Antigua and Barbuda and Canada which are both placing people’s health before politics and profit by legalising and regulating the drug market.”

 

Dr Marcus Day, Director of the Caribbean Drug & Alcohol Research Institute said:

 

“CDARI welcomes the positive message of The Honourable Gaston Browne , Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda who has acknowledged the wrongs against Rastafari in the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda and is the first sitting PM to issue an official apology to the Rastafarian community.

 

PM Browne has taken the courageous step of reforming the cannabis laws with the commitment of passing a comprehensive Cannabis Act that will regulate the use of cannabis in Antigua and Barbuda by the close of 2018.”

 

 

ENDS

 

Contacts

Ben Campbell, Communications Officer, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, 07377 649474 (+44) 0117 325 0295, ben@tdpf.org.uk

Danny Kushlick, Head of External Affairs, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, 07970 174747, danny@tdpf.org.uk

 

Notes to editors

  1. Transform Drug Policy Foundation is a UK and Mexico based think tank campaigning for the legal regulation of drugs www.tdpf.org.uk

  2. Audio of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s announcement: https://soundcloud.com/user-362651114/aud-20180417-wa0000

  3. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting London 2018: https://www.chogm2018.org.uk/