San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug 25 (EFE).- The Bahamas government unveiled on Friday a compendium of bills to decriminalize marijuana for medical, religious, and scientific research, thus transforming its consumption from a strictly illegal activity to a regulated industry.
A total of 11 pieces of legislation will establish a framework for local cannabis production to meet medical needs, create economic opportunities, and regulate the industry.
The proposal will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering from specific diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.
“Many Bahamians have been reaching out to the ministry to have access to import these drugs into the country,” Health Minister Michael Darville said.
“These bills will make way for Bahamians to access these essential therapies to improve the quality of HealthCare Delivery System.”
The proposed legislation provides for the religious use of cannabis by Rastafarians under specific licenses but will not be allowed for recreational use.
The Cannabis Bill 2023 aims to establish a Bahamas Cannabis Authority, which will control access to the substance, its legal production, and medical, scientific, and religious use.
The Bahamas Attorney General, Ryan Pinder, said buying cannabis for recreational purposes or selling and importing without a license would be in violation of the law.
With this legislation, the Bahamas would join other Caribbean nations that have relaxed their cannabis laws, such as Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda.