THE Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), will be very involved with the mobilisation and with solidarity with organisations that have been calling for the legalisation of marijuana. Speaking at the MSJ headquarters on Lord Street, San Fernando, yesterday, MSJ leader David Abdulah said it was through public pressure that government was going to move on the issue of legalising marijuana.
“Medical marijuana can be effective in treating ailments such as asthma and epilepsy.”
He pointed out that MSJ activist Daniel George began a walk a few days ago symbolically from his home in Point Fortin to San Fernando in order to highlight the need for the country to have available medical marijuana.
“This is to treat his children who suffer from a number of illnesses,” Abdulah said.
One year ago Abdulah initiated a process at the University of the West Indies (UWI) where he convened discussions across faculties. There was going to be a group that would lead the research on the issue but nothing has come out of it. Abdulah said he was again trying to get a major academic conference going on the issue.
“This as we try to stimulate across faculties and multi-disciplinary approach by academics at the university from the practice of medical sciences, also from law and natural sciences and agriculture to come together to provide the scientific and technical and other support for the legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana.”
The MSJ, he said, reiterates its solidarity with George and all who are campaigning around the issue.
On the report on the alleged wrongdoing on the part of MP for Diego Martin and former minister of government Darryl Smith, Abdulah said the PM claimed the report was of no value and could not be made public because Smith was not given an opportunity to address the allegations according to the laws of natural justice.
"We are now going into the merits of the issue and this entire situation demonstrates yet again the total ineptitude of Dr Keith Rowley and the PNM government to deal with important matters,” Abdulah said.
He said that demonstrated why the PNM ought not to be in government.
For that reason, he said, the MSJ is campaigning to have the PNM government removed, first in the local government elections, and then in the general election in 2020.
Abdulah said the MSJ supported the employees of SWMCOL who are represented by the Industrial Sanitation and General Workers' Union. He said successive UNC and PNM governments failed to have a proper policy on waste management in the country.
"Because they work in the dump they are considered less than. And we want to say these workers are very important and we must value their work. Without waste management, all of us will be in a holy mess.”
Abdulah said the MSJ would be releasing the names of its candidates on November 2 at the MSJ headquarters. They will also be launching their manifesto and slogan.
“We offer the country the only alternative to the PNM and the UNC and the vibes we are picking up on the ground is people are receptive to the MSJ because they are rejecting the UNC and the PNM.”
Local government elections will be held on December 2.
On the public holiday given for Divali, he urged the people of TT to take the message of Divali to heart.
“The message of good over evil, light over darkness and hope over despair.”