The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Last year the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force con­ducted sev­eral mar­i­juana erad­i­ca­tion ex­er­cises here. Sev­eral mar­i­juana plan­ta­tions were rid of their prod­ucts dur­ing the raids. There were also a num­ber of seizures on land and at sea dur­ing sev­eral stop and search op­er­a­tions.

De­spite the de­bate in the re­gion over the le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana, it re­mains il­le­gal to use, cul­ti­vate, sell or have it in one’s pos­ses­sion.

This week in con­tin­ued ef­forts to halt the cul­ti­va­tion

The Cabi­net of Min­is­ters re­cently con­sid­ered a Re­port on the fea­si­bil­ity of es­tab­lish­ing a Global Res­i­dence and Cit­i­zen­ship Pro­gramme un­der­taken by a Com­mit­tee es­tab­lished in Au­gust of last year for this pur­pose, a gov­ern­ment press re­lease this week says. It went on to say that the Com­mit­tee was re­quested “to con­sider the ques­tion of broad­en­ing the frame­work un­der which cit­i­zen­ship [of St Lu­cia] might be of­fered as a part of a pro­gramme of in­vest­ing” in the coun­try and, in that re­gard, to “de­ter­mine whether Saint Lu­cia should es­tab­lish an eco­nomic pro­gramme and, if so, the best model to adopt”.

The Com­mit­tee com­prised Dr. Vaughan A. Lewis (Chair­man), Mr. McHale An­drew, Mr. Ge­orge Deter­ville, Ms. Brenda Dun­can, Mr. Ti­mothy Fer­di­nand, Mr. Ge­orge God­dard and Mr. Ni­cholas John. Mr. John rep­re­sented the Op­po­si­tion on the Com­mit­tee.

In its Re­port, the Com­mit­tee took the view that of cannabis, the Anse La Raye Po­lice on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 11, 2015 con­ducted an erad­i­ca­tion ex­er­cise in the St Lawrence area at around 9:20 a.m.

Dur­ing the raid, 4,100 cannabis plants were up­rooted. The op­er­a­tion also re­sulted in 23 year old Hud­son Au­gustin of Anse La Raye be­ing ar­rested and charged for the of­fences of pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled drug, cul­ti­va­tion of a con­trolled drug and in­tent to sup­ply a con­trolled drug.

The ac­cused ap­peared be­fore the First Dis­trict Court a pro­gramme of this kind could con­sti­tute a strat­egy that could as­sist in re­spond­ing to the fact that the some of the tra­di­tional eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties which had been es­sen­tial con­trib­u­tors to the growth of the St Lu­cian econ­omy be­tween the 1960s and the 1990s had now lost their sig­nif­i­cance. This was par­tic­u­larly so as a con­se­quence of the loss of pref­er­en­tial ar­range­ments and other fac­tors re­lat­ing to the in­creas­ing glob­al­iza­tion and lib­er­al­iza­tion world pro­duc­tion and trad­ing ar­range­ments.

The Re­port there­fore ar­gues that there is now an ur­gent need to seek al­ter­na­tive and novel sources of in­vest­ment that can profit from cur­rent global eco­nomic ar­range­ments. And in that re­gard, that there is some va­lid­ity in adopt­ing an eco­nomic strat­egy re­lat­ing to widen­ing the benefits to the coun­try’s econ­omy from mak­ing cit­i­zen­ship by in­vest­ment pro­grammes a sig­nif­i­cant as­pect of St Lu­cia’s devel­op­ment.

The Com­mit­tee took where he was fined EC$1,000.00 on the charge of pos­ses­sion, EC$1,000.00 on the charge of cul­ti­va­tion and EC$1,500.00 on the charge of in­tent to sup­ply.

The Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force has un­der­taken a num­ber of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions to crack down on crime. Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, there will be no abat­ing of ef­forts on the part of law­men to en­sure that this mo­men­tum con­tin­ues.

This is the sec­ond suc­cess­ful erad­i­ca­tion ex­er­cise for Anse La Raye Po­lice for the year 2015. note of the fact that sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives have been taken in both de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, in­clud­ing coun­tries in the Caribbean, and as­serted that a model of in­vest­ment ap­pro­pri­ate to St Lu­cia’s cir­cum­stances could be ben­e­fi­cially im­ple­mented. In or­der to fur­ther the process of seek­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate ap­proach to this ini­tia­tive, the Cabi­net of Min­is­ters has de­cided that rec­om­men­da­tions made by the Task Force should now be the sub­ject of wide public con­sid­er­a­tion as a means of fur­ther in­form­ing Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach to this is­sue.

The re­port is ex­pected to be dis­patched to the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion invit­ing com­ments by March 5, 2015. The re­port was ex­pected to be pub­lished along with a state­ment to the gen­eral public on Fe­bru­ary 11, 2015, invit­ing com­ments by March 5, 2015. The com­ments re­ceived are then ex­pected to be re­viewed and sum­ma­rized for sub­mis­sion to Cabi­net on March 9, 2015.

The Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force con­tin­ues to erad­i­cate a num­ber of mar­i­juana

plan­ta­tions across the is­land.

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