The First Cannabis Conference

Remedi was the first International Medicinal Cannabis Conference in the Dutch Caribbean, and it had the pleasure of featuring some good speakers who talked about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow from a number of angles, including the medicinal and recreational use.

Anyone who argues against medicinal marijuana has been living under a rock for the past two decades.

Last year there was a political debate in Aruba and all parties agreed to support medicinal cannabis. The AZV board wrote a paper on it and informed GOA that it stands behind the introduction, in small steps, prescribed by doctors, distributed by boticas, where it will be handled just like any other restricted medicine such as opioids.

So, I am not arguing with the introduction of medical cannabis. It has,by the way, been available in Israel via pharmacies since April 20, 2018.

What was new to me and I just heard it at the conference, loud & clear, that it is coming here, in both medical & recreational forms, whether we like it or not, resistance is futile, it is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, it creates jobs, it brings in tax money,  it requires no marketing, no promotion, everyone wants some, and its big business; so we’d better gear up for its widespread medicinal and recreational use, because it is an unstoppable freight train, and we’d better benefit from it ourselves, before some multinational comes in and exploits us, in the name of their experience and expertise.

We’d better become expert ourselves. Fast.

As explained again and again by the speakers it is just a business opportunity, it required farmers, and warehouses, and bakeries, and labs, and mostly large money vaults, because with 1.6 million tourists a year, our financial challenges will be over.

Ok, got it. I still think St Nichols may benefit from an Amsterdam coffee-shop model, however NIMBY, not in my backyard.

The conference was organized by Vicky Perez and Maria Silva. Really? Yes.

Vicky, a tourism executive organized a pilgrimage in February 2018 to Israel where her group met the Minister of Health who talked about the progress made by the state regarding the use of medicinal Cannabis. Vicky was so impressed and upon her return to the island, teamed up with Maria to produce a conference, and push the issue forward into the light.

That’s my legacy she says, my contribution to my adoptive country, while I have NEVER tried cannabis myself, and I have NO financial interest in its business aspects, I wholeheartedly support its medicinal uses.

Anyway, the conference was informative. Keynote speaker David Nissman, outlined the steps we have to take as a country, legal, financial, educational, and what hurdles we will encounter, with the legalization/introduction of cannabis. He was dynamic and informative.

The colorful Piedad Córdoba, in a head wrap and blue suade shoes with rhinestone buckles, talked about the use of cannabis as a God given right, in fact a basic human right. She is an interesting character, and a controversial one in her country as the former presidential candidate and ex-senator of Colombia with alleged ties to the leftist rebels.

Dr. Suzanne Sisley, chairman and principal investigator of the Scottsdale Research Institute, was an enlightening speaker, and fully endorses the use of Cannabis in cases of PTS, and a great number of degenerative diseases.

Dr. Juan Luis Castro, a psychologist and senator of Colombia, talked a bit about addiction, finally, trying to dispel what he labeled misconceptions.

Robert Y lee, a humanitarian and economic advisor and former presidential candidate of the U.S., explained there is no turning back.  

From Aruba Member of Parliament Ricardo Croes and Minister Rudy Lampe spoke, I missed both. While their party ran on the platform of legalizing Medicinal Cannabis, it is a mistake to make this a political issue, and to take all the ‘credit’ for its introduction. It will encounter more opposition than necessary, if it remains a political issue, ‘owned’ and ‘patented’ by Red.

But there is progress: A government committee “Commission legalization of medicinal cannabis” has been established.

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December 04, 2018
Rona Coster