St Kitts launches public education on marijuana industry

Basseterre – The St Kitts-Nevis government has launched a public education campaign regarding the marijuana industry in the twin island Federation.

Attorney General, Garth Wilkin, said the campaign dubbed #CannabisClaritySKN, follows the publication of various pieces of legislation including the Rastafari Rights Recognition Act, the Freedom of Conscience (Cannabis) Act, the Drugs (Amendment) Act and the Smoking (Designated Areas) Act  in the official Gazette.

He said with these pieces of legislation now in force, the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs “has turned its energies into educating the general public about these new laws related to Rastafari and personal cannabis cultivation, use and possession in St Kitts -Nevis.

“The passage of laws without education and how they work in the real world is problematic,” he said, adding that the #CannabisClaritySKN public education campaign “is therefore aimed at informing our people and our visitors about what this comprehensive suite of legislation means for them and what are the dos and don’ts with respect to cannabis cultivation, use and possession going forward”.

The Attorney General said that the epicenter of the public education campaign is the website www.cannabisclarityskn.com, “which provides salient and summarized information about the new cannabis-related laws”.

He said that the ministry has also launched social media pages as part of the campaign.

“We have summarized the laws into bite-sized information graphics and have engaged local influencers to push the information. We know people are busy, so we tried our best to condense the salient points for ease of consumption.

“Info jingles are also being produced to be aired on radio stations. The whole campaign has been professionally developed by Kittitians and we are proud of this. I encourage everyone to visit the website and to share the #CannabisClaritySKN social media clippings with your friends and neighbours,” said Wilkin.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew issued a formal apology to members of the Rastafarians movement here, as the Parliament approved legislation aimed at “bringing us closer together as a people”.

The Parliament gave the green light to the Rastafari Rights Recognition Bill, 2023, with Prime Minister Drew saying it is “indeed a historic moment and an emotional moment not just for me, but the entire Rastafarian community”.

The bill also provides for the process of registration of Rastafari groups, recognition of various rights related to the use of cannabis by registered Rastafari groups, licencing for  the freedom of conscience possession and use of cannabis in certain public places.(CMC)