BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, CMC – The St. Kitts-Nevis government has hailed the decision to introduce legislation aimed at decriminalising small amounts of marijuana for medicinal and other purposes as a step towards the twin-island Federation consolidating its freedom from slavery.In a message to mark Emancipation Day, which is being observed on August 5, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris said that last week, his administration introduced to Parliament legislation to amend the prohibitive Drugs (Prevention & Abatement of the Misuse and Abuse of Drugs) Act, which forbade the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana.He said these prohibitions dated back to a predecessor law of 1937.“Of particular note is the insertion of a new subsection (3) in section 7. This new subsection states, “Subject to subsection (1), a person may apply to the Minister, through the Council, for a licence to cultivate cannabis for personal use and shall be guided by Regulations made under this Act,” Harris said, adding “it could not have come at a better time than close to Emancipation Day, an emotionally significant day that signifies our freedoms and rights”.But he lamented that “too many of our youth have been criminalized and incarcerated in relation to cannabis, and as a result, they have lost out on job and travel opportunities, opportunities to study abroad, a good future and a good name”.However, he said his coalition government has introduced legislation “to expunge the records of those criminalized.“We offer a fresh start to our people in a new era of enlightenment and engagement with cannabis. We are committed to decriminalizing marijuana and in the near future expunging criminal records for related offences of a certain degree while ensuring that the health and welfare of our nation’s children are protected.”.Harris said that on this occasion of celebrating Emancipation, “there is no better time to acknowledge our painful history, take stock of where we are and make amends for past mistakes, adding “we owe it to ourselves, to the memory of our forebears and to our future generations”.The government has since announced the establishment of a broad-based Cannabis Core Committee of experts to provide technical support to further advance the work towards the decriminalization of cannabis and the establishment of a marijuana industry in the Federation.“The establishment of a modern industry requires a lot of work and preparation and especially one which has to date been part and parcel of deeply held ideas regarding its use, its legitimacy, and even its legality a lot of work still remains to be done,” Harris told legislators late last month.He said the committee will be chaired by Dr. Wycliffe Baird who “has been involved with the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with their cannabis legislation and industry and he has done work in Africa in relation to this, so he comes to the committee already prepared and knowledgeable with regard to this particular activity.”Other members of the Committee are drawn from the Christian Council, the Rastafarian community, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the youth, the Office of the Attorney General as well as other experts in the field of marijuana.
Ex Black Stars player Augustine Arhinful says the Black Satellites players who excelled at this year’s World Youth tournament should not be rushed into the Black Stars team as suggested by some sports analyst.The Black Stars over the years has profited immensely from the progression of players from the junior teams.A recent example is when the team relied heavily on the 2009 U20 World Cup winning squad at the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola with many of them now commanding regular places in the current Black Stars squad.This year’s U20 tournament saw players such as Seidu Salifu, Ebenezer Assifuah and Clifford Aboagye who have been tipped to earn immediate places in the Black Stars team.But Augustine Arhinful thinks these players need more time to mature.“It is always good that after such a major tournament we penciled some players which we perceive to be potentials to play for the Black Stars but I think we should not rush them,” he told Joy sports “I have heard people compare the Adiyiah situation in 2009 to Ebenezer Assifuah so I will advice whoever the Black Stars coach see as a potential player in the future to be integrated into the Black Stars other than that they will go and play one match and if they are not successful the same people who are now calling for their inclusion will pull them down again.“We need to take time with these boys, they are potentials, they are growing up but we need to be very careful in how we push them into the Black Stars team.”
Everton defender Ashley Williams has revealed he suffered a collapsed lung during Tuesday’s draw between Wales and Mexico.The centre-half was forced off in the 20th minute of the clash at the Rose Bowl when he collided with West Ham United striker Javier Hernandez.He was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA hospital in Beverly Hills, where doctors discovered he had also sustained ‘multiple breaks’ on two separate ribs.The 33-year-old took to his official Facebook page to assure fans he was alright, despite the gruesome injury. He said: “Crazy couple weeks.. great to be back in a FA Wales shirt & with the lads, however after coming off after 20 mins [sic] with multiple breaks on two ribs, I went hospital & found out I had punctured my left lung which led to it collapsing.“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff at Ronald Reagan UCLA hospital in Beverley Hills for looking after me and making sure surgery went as comfortable as possible.“Look forward to flying home & resting up now before the new season!”The former Swansea City captain was making his first appearance in nearly three months after being sent off for Everton in a game against Burnley back on March 3. Williams lies on the turf grimacing in pain 1