Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has called for a collective Caribbean approach regarding the trade and other benefits of marijuana cultivation in the region.
Dr. Gonsalves made the call on Monday, as he delivered an address in Barbados, to launch the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
He said studies must be carried out, and this would require the establishment of a Caribbean Marijuana Commission.
The Prime Minister noted that in the changing global context of marijuana use, Caribbean economists and other relevant professionals, including those in the pharmaceutical industry, ought to be ahead of the curve, in conducting relevant research, not rehearsing traversed territory.
He told the gathering that the studies must point to a means of making the crop economically useful to the islands. In his address to the UWI, Dr. Gonsalves raised the idea of banana-producing countries in the Caribbean looking to cultivate marijuana as a more productive crop.
He said after 50 years of commercial banana production some islands had become disaster prone and that it was time the region carried out some serious research on marijuana as a viable regional commercial product.