Let me say that I am quite pleased that the Government has decided to get involved with the Marijuana Industry and I fully support its use for medical and religious purposes although I visualize some unscrupulous individuals jumping on the religious band wagon to have easy access to it.
The intention that disturbs me most is the one to legalize small portions for individual and recreational purposes. Whatever is the agreed amount, what this means is that our young persons and in particular our budding sports men and women can now legally possess and use the drug on a daily basis uninhibited and herein lies my biggest concern and fear.
I have worked consistently with young people practically all my life, almost on a daily basis and I have done so on the Local, Regional and International arena and I have personally witnessed not only numerous careers, but many lives tragically destroyed by the use and abuse of marijuana, alcohol and other illegal substances.
We as a country should not therefore follow the more advanced countries by blindly going down that road. These more developed countries possess the infrastructure, facilities and human expertise to identify and also to treat young persons at a very early stage, if they confirm the necessity for treatment for marijuana abuse, but in our case we are not so blessed with those resources and this results in families that can afford being able to send their loved ones overseas for rehab, where as those who are unable to afford the sometimes exorbitant costs associated with the treatment, have to just sit and look at members of their families wilt away and many times become unproductive members of our society.
As I mentioned earlier I have no difficulty with the regulations allowing marijuana’s use for medical and religious purposes, as it is a confirmed fact, that it has definite medicinal properties which are beneficial in the treatment of certain illnesses and diseases. What I deeply despise, is listening to some knowledgeable persons trying to give the impression that using marijuana has no ill effects. If they want to call for the decriminalization and legitimacy of marijuana, they have their right to do so, but please do so without distorting the facts.
So, I would encourage the Government to proceed down this road with extreme caution because it could have disastrous effects on our population, in particular on the developing minds of our young sports men and women and in addition, the Dominican society as a whole, would be severely affected if this venture is not managed with extreme precision, efficiency and a very high level of Professionalism.
Statement from Billy Doctrove
Dominica Olympic Committee and Former International Football Referee and Former International Test…