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Adam Gerritsma

Cayman Islands Legislature to Debate MMJ Bill

The legislature in the Cayman Islands will debate on a measure to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis oil today after it was introduced in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, the Cayman Compass reports. The consideration by lawmakers comes after a local resident made a presentation to the Progressive’s government caucus about the therapeutic use of cannabis for cancer patients.

Premier Alden McLaughlin, who also serves as the health minister, said that under the plan, only physicians would be allowed to prescribe cannabis, which would be imported into the country by licensed pharmacists. The source of the oil was not yet determined by lawmakers as the drug is still outlawed by many of the island’s Caribbean neighbors.

“There were and remain some reservations about the use of this oil and its purpose, because there are still questions about its efficacy,” McLaughlin said in the report. “Nowhere in the world have they yet been able to determine definitively that it has the curative effects that many of its advocates believe.”

The bill’s introduction and debate was sparked by a presentation from Dennie Warren Jr., whose wife has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. McLaughlin said that Warren believes medicinal cannabis “would give his wife some hope.” Warren became an advocate for medical marijuana legalization after his wife’s diagnosis.

Despite his concerns, McLaughlin conceded that cannabis is “very useful in dealing with a range of symptoms” associated with a variety of serious illnesses and that legislators “do not want people to continue to suffer.”

“We believe we must do what we can,” he said.

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