Cabinet has agreed that a feasibility study be undertaken for the emerging market of medicinal marijuana or cannabis in Fiji.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the feasibility study will be overseen by a task force that will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica.
He says medicinal cannabis is defined as the use of cannabis including constituents of cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids that are mainly used for the treatment, or symptom reduction, of a range of illnesses and conditions that are prescribed by the physician.
Rabuka says at present, there is no specific legislation for the cultivation and production of medicinal marijuana in Fiji.
He adds the findings of the feasibility study and any subsequent proposed amendments to the law and the drafting of a new law will be brought back to Cabinet for its consideration.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Council of Churches members in April this year endorsed a motion to legalize marijuana for pharmaceutical or medicinal purposes only.
This was confirmed after the conclusion of their first consultation process in response to the Government’s motion to legalize marijuana for pharmaceutical or medicinal purposes only.
Acting General Secretary, Reverend Simione Tui says the research presented on marijuana as a medicinal drug was one of the major factors that convinced the church leaders to endorse the legalization of marijuana.
Pastor Tui is also grateful to the Government for involving the church leaders in the consultation of national matters.
He says the church is a great link for the Government to its people.
Reverend Tuinawai Kapiwai of the Assemblies of God Church says the legalization of marijuana will help in the battle against drugs, while Wilisoni Qarasaumaki of the Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church says the motion will help locals utilize their natural resources.
Pastor Kaminielo Nakove of the Pentecostal Church of God International Movement Nadi says if this motion is passed by the Government, the churches will play a big part in its advocacy.
The Archbishop says there will be more consultations in the future, and this is to ensure that everyone’s opinion is considered before the Fiji Council of Churches presents its official response to the Government.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations