U.S. Virgin Islands to Try Legalizing Medical Marijuana Again


As the famous saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s exactly what’s currently happening in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) as they attempt to legalize medical cannabis.

In the past, efforts to usher in this new era of cannabis medicine to the USVI have failed. However, Senator Positive Nelson, who is well-known for his efforts to legalize pot, said his office would soon re-introduce a bill to the Senate. Senator Nelson said that since his last attempt, new medical research has continued to highlight the therapeutic benefits of marijuana.

“With the passage of time and the release of more information, more proven research, it will make sense that the legislature will be more prepared to pass it,” Senator Nelson said in an interview with the Virgin Islands Consortium.

Governor Kenneth Mapp said that he would consider a medical marijuana bill and discuss it with his commissioners just like any other measure for the islands. Senator Nelson has gone on record stating that the Governor might consider recreational as well, as long as the proper regulations were in place.

The U.S. Virgin Islands decriminalized cannabis at the end of 2014, also led by Senator Nelson at the time. Regionally, their neighbor to Northeast, the British Virgin Islands, has been considering decriminalization since early 2017.

If the island nation is successful in bringing about medical cannabis for its citizens, it will join a long list of other Caribbean coastlines that have seen the light of day when it comes to marijuana reform. Those include Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and a growing list of others.

Photo Courtesy of David Barnas

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Jon Hiltz was a journalist for Marijuana.com for two years and is now director of content for INDIVA, a licensed cannabis producer in Ontario Canada.

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