St Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Terrance Drew, gets teary eyes during the debate on the Rastafari Rights Recognition Bill 2023. The Bill was passed in the National Assembly on Tuesday (June 20, 2023).
During the debate, PM Terrance Drew extended an emotional apology to the Rastafarian community for taking significant time to effect the Bill. He described the passing of the Bill as a historic and emotional moment.
PM Terrance Drew also reiterated his commitment and said that St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party administrations will work for the professing of equality and equity within the Federation.
PM Terrance Drew said that this is one of the steps of the government of St Kitts and Nevis in establishing a sustainable island state. He said that the government adopted a grounded approach in humility and respect.
PM Drew asserted that the Bill is aimed at bringing people closer and enhancing the unity in St Kitts and Nevis. He said, “It is important that we acknowledge past wrongdoings and work towards correcting them. Therefore, I would like to apologize to the Rastafarian community for the delay in addressing their concerns. We are committed to making things right and moving forward positively.”
While providing significant rights, the Rastafari Rights Recognition Bill 2023 will make the community smoke marijuana for religious and personal purposes in the Federation. It will be a significant step in the Caribbean for marijuana use for personal reasons.
The community will get the full legal right to cultivate, harvest, dry, trim, cure or even process and smoke cannabis with the passing of the Bill. Rasta will also receive the licences in the near future from the Medicinal Cannabis Authority, and the licences will be free of cost.
The community people will get access to tax as well as other concessions which are required to help their farms and businesses succeed. They will also receive a new status in law and the legal foundations to improve the condition of Rastafari in St Kitts and Nevis.