9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

With Hostility In Senate Towards Medicinal Marijuana Diminished, Nelson’s Yearslong Fight Gets New Lease On Life

Business / Health / News / Virgin Islands / October 13, 2018

With a number of gubernatorial candidates supporting a medicinal marijuana industry in the territory, using the growing trend as part of their proposals to boost the territory’s economy and sustain the Government Employees’ Retirement System, Senator Positive Nelson’s bill to legalize such an industry in the USVI, which was briefly placed as an item on Friday’s session agenda to be voted on following a special order motion by Mr. Nelson, has received less hostility than in the past.

On Friday, the bill was removed from the agenda after a motion from Mr. Vialet to instead send it to the Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture. But it was no longer an item left to languish in the Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services, which is chaired by a senator who staunchly opposes the implementation of a medicinal marijuana industry in the USVI: outgoing lawmaker Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly.

Following Mr. Vialet’s motion, who contended that the measure needed further debate, Mr. Nelson amended his motion so that the bill could be sent to the Agriculture and Economic Development Committee.

The motion passed with flying colors: Senators Novelle Francis, Alicia Hansen, Tregenza Roach, Myron Jackson, Jean Forde, Dwayne DeGraff, Janelle Sarauw, Sammuel Sanes, Kurt Vialet and Bryan Smith voted in favor.

Standing in sole opposition was Mrs. Rivera-O’Reilly, who during past hearings has painted the measure as as get-rich ploy for certain interests who care little about the drug’s effects on society.

“The key opposition, unreasonably — and I did send correspondence asking the president to let it be heard by the Committee of the Whole in fairness to the people who voted on it — but Senator O’Reilly, one person… I don’t believe that she’s going to give it an ear with a hearing, and if so it won’t be a fair hearing because she has demonstrated publicly over and over and over her bias against medicinal cannabis, no matter what medical journal or scientific research is in front of her,” Mr. Nelson told The Consortium in December 2017 at The Palms at Pelican Cove, where he announced his bid for governor. (Mr. Nelson bowed out of the race twice, first after failing to find a running mate, and later after defects of his candidacy mired his efforts.)

Mr. Nelson has made the marijuana issue a hallmark of is legacy in the Senate, and it appears that time for its passage in the Legislature is ripe. But the senator has only a few more months in office, most of which will be lame-duck days once the Nov. 6 general elections results are in. The question remains, then, does Mr. Nelson has the political capital to muster the measure through and unto Governor Kenneth Mapp’s desk. Mr. Mapp has shown support for a medicinal marijuana industry in the USVI, although he didn’t confirm whether he would approve or veto a measure sent to his desk.

Meanwhile on the mainland, 30 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. According to VOX, some allow medicinal marijuana dispensaries and home cultivation. Others only allow home cultivation. And a few allow dispensaries but not home cultivation.

From VOX:

There’s a growing body of research supporting marijuana’s use for medical purposes. Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest marijuana can be used for various medical problems, including pain, nausea and loss of appetite, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

But a review of the evidence published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found little evidence for marijuana’s ability to treat health conditions outside chronic pain and muscle stiffness from multiple sclerosis.

Several studies show legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries can lead to fewer opioid painkiller deaths, making medical marijuana one potential way to help fight the opioid epidemic. The rationale for this is simple: Studies show medical marijuana can effectively treat chronic pain, which opioids are commonly used for. But unlike opioids, medical marijuana cannot cause deadly overdoses. So medical marijuana could supplant some opioid use and save some lives.

Medical marijuana legalization also has a lot of popular support: A 2010 Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of American voters back medical marijuana, including 80 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Republicans.

But the federal government doesn’t recognize marijuana’s medical potential, largely because the studies have been small so far, and there have been no large-scale clinical trials proving pot’s medicinal value.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

Previous Post

Mapp Must Now Get Senate Approval Before Extending State Of Emergency

Next Post

Here Are All The Measures Lawmakers Took Action On During Friday's Senate Session

You might also like

Leave a Reply

More Story

Mapp Must Now Get Senate Approval Before Extending State Of Emergency

Lawmakers during a Friday Senate session overrode Governor Kenneth Mapp's veto of Bill No. 32-0185, sponsored by Senator...

October 13, 2018