Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Even as the topic of the decriminalization of small quantities of cannabis is being touted, a political aspirant is calling for the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to look at decriminalising the drug so that it can be produced for export.
Mr. Vincent Wheatley, the Ninth District candidate for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) in the upcoming General Election, wants the BVI to tap into the marijuana industry to generate revenue.
During a debate between Mr. Wheatley and his opponents in the election race last night, January 9 on Virgin Gorda, Mr. Wheatley urged that in “developing new revenue streams,” the production of marijuana be considered for the purpose of export.
Speaking to BVI Platinum News after the debate, Mr. Wheatley clarified, “I mentioned the issue of marijuana. I know it’s illegal now, but it won’t always be illegal. It’s only a law to change to make it legal as a way of creating revenue.”
He pointed to a number of countries where medical marijuana has been legalized, and a market has been created, saying, “It’s something that should be considered going forward. It’s something we should seriously consider going forward…medical marijuana.”
Early last year, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kim Hollis QC, in examining a proposal made to decriminalise the narcotic as a means of economic diversification, said that careful consideration should be taken before cannabis is made an option.
“The economic consequences need close analysis and consideration…What I want everyone to think about is the effects…It does need to be really stringently regulated, and we need to have all the other things in support,” she had stated.
The DPP went on to say, “I believe that there is an economic advantage to it, and a very good economic advantage to it, but if you did the sum, I would like to see that being balanced against the necessary input in relation to the cost of actually balancing as it were, because of regulation, the medical facilities and matters such as that.”
“I think if you actually did the sums you would really need to look at the cost to put into place the various support systems that you need in order to introduce or legalize it [cannabis]…and the financial implications should be properly looked at balancing those implications, as I say, bringing in health and social development and other agencies such as that,” she had said.