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Legalizing cannabis could help rebrand Dominica

by: - July 12, 2018
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Members of the Organization of the Reformation of Anti-Cannabis Laws in Dominica (ORACLE) have proposed that Dominica uses legalization of cannabis as a way to rebrand the island.

These remarks were made at the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast held at the Prevo Cinemall on Thursday 12 July 2018.

At the event, various stakeholders, including Minister for the Environment, Joseph Isaac and Opposition Leader Lennox Linton, came together to discuss the topic ‘A Look Ahead: Opportunities and Challengers of Legalizing Cannabis in Dominica.’

One of the Keynote Speakers, and Member of the ORACLE, Dr. Irvin Pascal stated during his address that the legalization of cannabis could be used as an opening for Dominica.

He described the discussion as “ironic” noting that “legalizing cannabis has the potential to address many of our problems.”

“It is also a unique opportunity to rebrand Dominica. I find it sounds quite hollow and insincere to say we are the Nature Isle and we have made a plant illegal. I think we should rebrand ourselves and say we are the Nature Island of the world, where all plants are legal,” Dr. Pascal stated.

He informed that health statistics in Dominica, especially in relation to non-communicable diseases are “alarming and discouraging.”

“We are 11th in the world when it comes to obesity in women. We are 5th in CARICOM when it comes to expenditure for diabetes and hypertension, which takes almost 70 percent of our health budget. And in terms of cancers, alarmingly, we seem to be 3rd per capital in the world. These are alarming statistics for a country like Dominica,” he noted.

Dr. Pascal added that the legalization of cannabis would result in “an immediate” decrease in our medical bills and costs.

“We could reclaim our preventative health care approach, which is to prevent us from being ill and helping us to stay well. We have opportunities for increased possibilities in healing and wellness,” Dr. Pascal added.