We’re Talking About Cannabis

I am siding with the recently published press release by Rocco Tjon, leader of MEP’s parliamentary faction, who clarified what we already knew, that MEP will not support nor approve legalization of recreational cannabis.

I looked at the picture of the 9 MEP parliamentarians and realized they have some expertise among them: A trained drug counselor, Hendrik Tevreden, lawyer Adi Thijsen who knows something about the subject and Rocco Tjon, who accumulated much experience in the field, in his former capacity at KIA.

Medical yes, we don’t argue with that. Research shows that cannabis is helpful in alleviating the effects of chemotherapy, and helpful in reducing seizures, caused by a number of terrible chronic diseases.

As for the other claims about the wonders of cannabis and its related products, I don’t think there is any reliable research to back them up.

I keep hearing about the inevitability of also sweeping recreational cannabis in, my friends say that ship has sailed, and we’d better legalize recreational use now, with over 1 million tourists a year, if Aruba executes the project well and maintains the complete process under government control, from growing to processing and distributing, our financial crisis will go away, within two years! We will have so much money, we will not know what to do with it. As the first island in the Caribbean to legalize, with a steady flow of visitors, we will be hitting the jackpot, but you’d better do it now, early in the game, before the rest of the Caribbean wakes up, build two dispensaries, one in Noord, one in San Nicolas: Show us your cash and we’ll get you high.  

It all seemed so inevitable, like it is stupid to resist.

Until the recent press release by Rocco Tjon, that refocused our blurred vision.

As a Caribbean island in the sun we are already laid back and drifting by nature. Add legalized cannabis to that mix and you will get some more disconnect, some more drifting, with a significant chunk of the young population that is marginally engaged and minimally interested, Dolce Far Niente to the extreme, looking at the world through pink glasses.

I have never met a cannabis-using over-achiever.

If and when the political will changes and recreational cannabis is legalized, you’d better put significant amounts of money in the budget so you could effectively discourage our population from using it.

I recently went to the opening of the Bulldog Café in Aruba at Paseo Herencia.

The place is reportedly associated with the popular Amsterdam cannabis coffee shop, where I had my first space-cake, in the 80s.

The message was confusing: Were they gearing up for the legalization of pot here? Did they really mean to operate a pot-selling joint, in the open air, in the tourist sector, in a mall attracting families and kids? Did they think that by coming here, they will be getting their foot in the door, in line for a piece of that fat pie? Did they think they could do it for us? Show us how it’s done?

In both cases, medical and/or recreational, the process of growing, processing and distributing, should remain in Aruban hands, no BIG PHARMA coming in to show us the way, no friends and family concessions.

If you hand it over to a foreign expert, they will dedicate marketing funds to the expansion of the market, and the acquisition of new users.

It’s exactly what we don’t need.  






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May 10, 2019
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