Barbados against public smoking of marijuana

A tour guide shows marijuana growing openly in a flower garden

The Barbados government says it wants to make it clear that the public smoking of marijuana would not be tolerated as part of the moves to establish a cannabis industry on the island.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness said it wanted to make it “clear that the decision that medical marijuana products should be authorized for use in Barbados was based on the best available scientific evidence from clinical studies”.

It quoted Health and Wellness Minister, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, as announced earlier this week that five medicinal marijuana drugs had been approved for importation by the Barbados Drug Service on the recommendation of the Barbados National Drug Formulary Committee.

In a statement, Friday, the Ministry said that it wanted to reiterate the government’s position in light of some concerns being raised by members of the public regarding smoking of marijuana.

It said that “the smoking of marijuana would not be part of the process since there was no scientifically proven medical benefit” and that the drugs to be imported were all approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“They have been identified as nabiximols such as Sativex®, purified cannabidiol oral solution such as Eidiolex®, synthetic non-psychoactive cannabinoid, namely Anabasum®, synthetic cannabinoid capsules – Nabilone® and synthetic cannabinoid capsules, Marinol®.”

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anton Best, said that the clinical indications for the use of medical marijuana were chronic pain, spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, severe nausea and loss of appetite.

He said that that the drugs would be prescribed when other pharmaceutical products proved ineffective.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness said it has partnered with The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus to conduct a series of workshops for healthcare providers who will be involved in prescribing or administering any of the five approved drugs to those patients in need.

Last month, Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, said she was encouraged by discussions she held with Canadian firms, interested in establishing a presence on the island, as Bridgetown seeks to take advantage of a growing, global, medical marijuana industry.

Canada has fully decriminalised cannabis use, leading to a mushrooming of pharmaceutical industries, tied to the herb.

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