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The “Lazarus Effect,” that is what Minister with responsibility for Agriculture, Dr. the Hon. Natalio Wheatley is hoping for as he announced that at present, the Territory’s agriculture sector is dead and in need of reviving. He also suggested that this might be the right time for public conversation about medical marijuana.
The Minister, while speaking in the House of Assembly on April 25, put forward a problem and solution type approach to his update on the sector -- that was once referred to as the future third economic pillar.
Hon. Wheatley announced that the issue is that agriculture has been ignored for a long time and was wounded as a result. The Minister further hinted that the global and regional interest in medical marijuana might be a panacea for the situation.
While lamenting the state of the sector, the Minister told the House of Assembly, “Agriculture is on life support. In fact, we might have even said that it already died, and we have to bring it back…We have to bring it back from death…because nothing is happening in agriculture.”
He alluded to the fact that there are informal discussions on the state of the sector in various quarters of the economy, and on the possible options for the Territory in the agricultural sphere.
“Persons say that you can’t grow everything, but we can grow something. We can do something. Of course we don’t have the land space that we used to have in all of the different countries, but we have some space and we should use that space efficiently.”
Additionally, the Minister suggested that the BVI commences discussions on the possibility of medical marijuana.
“We have to have some discussions and some conversations going forward about things like medical marijuana. I’ve been talking about it for a long time on the outside.”
“It’s an area that we’re gonna have a discussion on in the Territory before we let all the islands and all the nations go ahead and do this thing while we sit down here with all the illnesses, because the CDB in the medical marijuana is something that can help us with cancer. The Minister of Health knows that cancer is a big problem here and all the different seizures you get and all of the different things – asthma, glaucoma and all types of different things that the medical marijuana can address,” he pointed out.
Medical marijuana has been suggested before, but it was never pursued at the governmental level. Now, Hon. Wheatley is announcing that he intends to push the matter forward with public support.
“We have to have a conversation…I’m not afraid to have that conversation and we will move on that. We’ll move forward on that. So we’ll have a discussion,” he added.