Marijuana researchers seek government approval

Marijuana researchers seek government approval

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is urging the Barbados government to enact the necessary legislation to allow its scientists to undertake studies on the medicinal use of marijuana.

The Barbados Cave Hill Campus of the UWI has announced plans for a symposium on marijuana in September and would welcome the required legislation to advance its research on the plant.

Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau said it has been investigating the medicinal value of Barbadian plants and there is need for the legislative framework to conduct research on marijuana.

Recently a Barbados government senator criticized the UWI for its failure to lead the regional efforts on the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Senator Jeptor Ince told the Senate during the debate on the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professionals (Incorporation) Bill, 2016; “we have this talent at the UWI and we should have been at the forefront of marijuana uses for diseases, and for medical purposes”.

Ince insisted that the UWI had to look at research in medicine as a way to boost its revenues, saying it was clear that the marijuana industry was exploding, particularly in the United States.

Professor Barriteau noted that the Jamaican government has ensured that marijuana research was undertaken at the Mona Campus by passing the necessary legislation in April 2015.

Earlier this year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves called for a collective Caribbean approach regarding the trade and other benefits of marijuana cultivation in the region.

In 2014, CARICOM leaders, at their summit in Antigua, announced the establishment of a commission to discuss the means of decriminalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.