Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Marijuana as a commercial crop?

I don't think so. We don't want the youth of Fiji stoned and aimless with drug-taking. There is a difference though if the speaker in Parliament is talking about medical uses for marijuana but he didn't say that. It can be used for serious pain such as cancer but the farming of medical marijuana would have to be well organised.
From Fiji Times:

Mixed views over pot bid

Aqela Susu
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, told Parliament yesterday he would not recommend to Government the legalisation of marijuana in Fiji.
He made this comment in response to a supplementary question by Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula who asked the minister if he would at any time recommend to Government the commercial planting of marijuana in Fiji.
Mr Nawaikula said this was because people were planting marijuana as a source of income.
"I don't think I'd like to recommend to Government the legalisation of marijuana in Fiji," Ratu Inoke said.
Mr Nawaikula's comment, however, drew mixed reactions.
Last night Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa differed from Mr Nawaikula's call, saying it was his "own opinion".
"I haven't heard him mention anything like that before. I think he took everyone by surprise and to me, it is his own personal opinion which he is entitled to," Ro Teimumu said.
She also clarified that Mr Nawaikula's call was not part of SODELPA's policy.
Former SODELPA youth leader Pita Waqavonovono spoke out strongly about what Mr Nawaikula said, saying there were other agricultural products that could be cultivated and marketed.
"Marijuana is actually a dying market and an unpopular one also," Mr Waqavonovono said.
"We are trying to build a society that is not dependent on hard drugs, making it legal is a cop-out. And young people want Parliament to come up with more substantive measures to employment creation, and legalising marijuana won't help."
Two frequent letter writers to The Fiji Times Letters to the Editor column agreed with Mr Nawaikula's call for the legalisation of marijuana for commercial purposes.
Simon Hazelman of Savusavu said as with alcohol and tobacco, marijuana needed to be legalised for control and taxes.
"Ratu Inoke Kubuabola's reply simply confirms the ruling party's tunnel vision regarding the issue. The least Government can do for now is to initiate an investigation of the benefits of commercial marijuana farming," Mr Hazelman said. "The simple fact that the variety used to produce products is of no use to stoners is enough for Government to remove the blinkers and seriously look into the matter."
Nadi lawyer Dorsami Naidu said Government should look at it as a crop that could earn this country a lot of foreign exchange.
Meanwhile, attempts to get comments from Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu and Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya remained unsuccessful when this edition went to press last night.

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