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Just What The Doctor Ordered – Poll Gives Support For Medical Marijuana

Reader poll

Do you think marijuana should be legalised for medicinal purposes?

  • Yes 90%
  • No 10%

679 total votes.

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

A RECENT Public Domain survey has found overwhelming support for medical marijuana among Bahamian residents across demographics of age, gender and income.

Seventy-one percent of 998 residents surveyed said they believed marijuana should be legalised for medicinal purposes, and of those aged 55 and older, 179 people, 59 percent supported legalisation.

Respondents ranked marijuana as the least harmful substance in comparison to tobacco, alcohol, and sugar, across the board.

However, 47 percent of residents strongly agreed that the legalisation of medical marijuana will lead to an increase in recreational use.

Public Domain president M’wale Rahming said he was shocked by the findings, which indicated there were high levels of awareness and acceptance of this form of treatment among Bahamians.

Ninety percent of residents had heard of medical marijuana, and 66 percent believed adults should be able to use marijuana as part of a medical treatment plan if recommended and supervised by a licenced doctor.

Sixty-two percent of residents strongly agreed marijuana has medical benefits; however, 40 percent said they strongly agreed medical marijuana is addictive with the highest percentage of persons holding this belief in the 35 to 54 age bracket.

Mr Rahming said the report was commissioned for Bahama Cann, a non-profit organisation formed to educate the Bahamian people on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.

He stressed respondents were not asked about “recreational marijuana or about decriminalisation but just attitudes toward medicinal marijuana only.”

The Tribune reached out to the organisation but did not receive a response up to press time.

“The findings show 60 percent of Bahamians know someone suffering from illness, a debilitating medical condition,” Mr Rahming said. “That shocks me, in addition that they believe it (medical marijuana) should legalised.

“Only 21 percent say no. The eight percent that are unsure, I think that means they can be convinced if you give the right education so that’s almost 80 percent of Bahamians - that’s shocking to me.”

Residents were selected randomly and interviewed by telephone between June 1 to 14. The data was weighted to represent the population on the basis of age and gender based on the 2010 census. It also includes a breakdown by income category.

More than 70 percent of respondents lived in New Providence and owned their own home, with forty-two percent of residents describing their household make-up as a couple with children. Fifty-four percent of residents said their household included members under the age of 18.

Forty percent of residents were high school graduates, 28 percent were college graduates, and 11 percent held a masters or graduate degree. Fifty-three percent of residents were employed full time, and 17 percent were self-employed.

Eighty percent of men and 63 percent of women interviewed supported legalisation, other categories that featured high support included persons in the 18 to 34 age bracket, 79 percent, and residents in the $30,000 to $60,000 income bracket, 81 percent.

Most respondents indicated their primary source of information about medical marijuana came from the internet, 58 percent, with television as the second highest source at 25 percent. Only one percent of respondents said they obtained most of their information from medical journals or research articles.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Bahamas Cannabis Research Institute (BACARI) Foundation met with Minister of National Security Marvin Dames. This group is different from the organisation which commissioned the Public Domain survey.

That same day, Mr Dames told media outside Cabinet the debate over drugs and the legalisation of marijuana was timely and part of a wider global movement.

“The Cabinet has yet to discuss this issue at this point,” Mr Dames said on Tuesday, “and so we will be guided by what we would do as a Cabinet, of course, and so but we have yet to speak to it.

“This is the way the world is headed. We can’t ignore it, you know? There are, I mean, many studies being conducted around the world on the medicinal use of marijuana and how it is reaping positive results. But we have to look at this from a holistic perspective, and as we move towards, you know, getting the debate going, we have to look at all sides of the issue...as a government, we’re not going to rush into it.”

Comments

realfreethinker 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Light up a spliff and take a little whiff

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proudloudandfnm 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Can't vote. No yes or no icons are loading.

For the record I vote YES.

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I guess now that that the Christian Council said this week that they won't oppose the govt plan for free condoms in the schools, we had to toss them another bone. They gotta have something to be upset about, kind, decent Christians that they are.

Wonder if Jesus came to Earth today and took inventory of our host of problems worldwide, what number on his newly formed list of priorities would he assign to marijuana?

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Alex_Charles 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Now will this jokey government do anything in the direction of decriminalization and support medical usage at LEAST?

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PastorTroy 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is fantastic news! Based on the survey conducted, the people had to either do research or read up-to-date news to get real solid information about the medicinal benefits and the legalization of Cannabis, for those who still stuck with the reefer madness indoctrination from the 50's or heard from parents/grandparents of that era it will always be no to legalization, ...well, that's until someone they love get sick; this is selfish and unfortunate. Speaking from a economic perspective, we (Bahamas Government) can drastically reduce borrowing money, the legalization of Cannabis will create a foundation for our citizens to not only become self-sufficient and successful by ourselves but help build our nation, like it or not, "we all we gat!" while preserving our precious land and natural resources for our next generation rather than selling acres and acres to foreigners to just pay the Government's light bill. Rural Islands like Acklins and Islands with lots of land available like Andros can be used to legally grow cannabis in a Government controlled manner, this is great news for our Bahamaland. I see visitors from around the world coming to our shores, paying a premium to enjoy our Sun, Sand, Sea, and Greens! Genesis 1:30

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BahamaPundit 2 months, 2 weeks ago

We can only wait and see what happens. My greatest hope is that the industry is opened to the "small man" and that, like Jamaica, everyone can pay a relatively small fee to be a grower or a supplier. However, past actions in the Bahamas would suggest that everything will be done by the Government to ensure the licenses are very costly and only a few privledged cronies are allowed to buy them.

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PastorTroy 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I totally agree, however, this will only create an even bigger illegal black-market cannabis problem and put a bigger strain on our Law Enforcement Officers, Judicial and Correctional systems. Cutting out the "small man" aka Mom and Pop businesses will not only create more animosity between the rich and poor but will threaten the very fabric of our Bahamaland. Our PM, recently on taxpayers dime flew to multiple Family Islands to 'sell' a 12% VAT that was already law, to now cut out the "small man" from literally reaping the benefits of our land will be unconscionable! After all "It's the People's time".

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sealice 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Mitchell's Stichels.... for what ails ya!

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joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

No one in the world is more skilled than Bahamians that working around legitimate things. I can smell the potential for abuse.

But remember there were also polls that supported the legalization of gambling!

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Ma Comrades, I got's bad news you - unfortunately, da doctors we go to medical treatment have and will never be in camp allowing we the PeoplePublic to enjoy we Home baked Brownies - me family doc included. This poll is likes stepping backward in darkness to oppose the outright decriminalization all things Cannabis for "recreational" use. Might be time head up Mount Fitzwilliam to inform Her Excellency of official launch Cannabis Party BAHAMALAND (CPB}. You has be joking if you think the same Red Shirts who threaten take away Peoples Corned Beef will ever be for Home Baked Brownies... just not enough money in Corned Beef.

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BahamaRed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I see this being like numbers, only a certain few will have the money required to even start up a business.

Between purchasing your own land or leasing Crown land, and then paying for the different licences only the already rich will be able to capitalize on this venture.

Then what happens the rich get richer and the poor spends money to purchase the marijuana from the rich.

Sad but true....

Should it be legalized, I think so. But not if only certain rich people have access to being distributors.

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John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Marijuana should never have been criminalized in the first instance. And in the second instance to rate it as being as dangerous as cocaine. Cocaine is the base for many of the opioid drugs that are killing thousands from overdoses annually. The alcohol and tobacco industry has been fighting hand and tooth to keep marijuana illegal in any form. And it’s medical Value has never been disputed or challenged. In fact doctors are now prescribing medical marijuana as an alternative and more safe treatment to persons addicted to opioids

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ashley14 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Totally agree! Marijuana should have been legalized years ago. Get the drug dealers off the street. Alcohol is worse than pot. Look at all the taxes that could be collected. The government always needs money. Put some kind of tax on it. Save money by not criminalizing it and hurt the drug dealers a little bit anyway. It's a win win situation. The states are finally coming around. In California there is a marijuana store on every corner.

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watcher 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I note that this is only for medical uses. Will our overrun health services be able to cope with all the people who will suddenly "need" it? I myself have an old football injury that hurts my knee every four or five years.......where do I sign up ???!!!

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JohnDoes 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Meanwhile, less than half of those supporting would actually be able to use for medicinal reasons. This is where the red tape comes in. Medicinal use is by prescription only. Still however, if a doctor does not think you need it, then you will not be prescribed or allowed to use it. They need to focus on BOTH Medicinal & Decriminalization, that way those can possess it but up to a certain amount, as well as use it freely without fear of persecution, without having to see a doctor. The other thing that would need to be addressed is to prohibit its use from public areas, schools etc. There will have to be a lot of critique to laws with the assistance of mentally mature users, lawyers and of course the government. To have this agenda spear headed by pastors and anti-marijuana persons would only cause a dramatic halt to this agenda.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Ma Comrade JohnDoes, might not be bad idea have red shirts House MP's conducting Peoples business whilst high on Cannabis - other than full themselves and broken promises?

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm sure that there is a tourist market for this as well in that many people in Canada and the US need to take marijuana on a daily basis for medical reasons. Chances are they don't travel because they can't get their daily dose in the country/state they would like to travel to. Wouldn't it be great if they know that they can travel here and still be able to access their prescription (THC level and all that) while on vacation. There may not be millions of these tourists at the moment but there are thousands (probably tens of thousands) that would like to visit - and we could certainly use a few thousand more room nights a year!

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sealice 2 months, 2 weeks ago

BREAKING NEWS!! 71% of the 998 people polled had their doors kicked in last night by the DEU......

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John 2 months, 2 weeks ago

There is already a large percentage of the younger population smoking marijuana for recreational purposes. One thing Obama said is that, as president, he would’ve been more in favor of decriminalizing weed for recreational use rather than legalizing it for such. If it becomes legal, the large companies would come in and commercialize it, making it another product like tobacco or alcohol. Not only will they spend millions or even billions to advertise and market marijuana, but they will eventually start modifying the product or adding ingredients to it to make it more addictive or potent. The country can already expect some backlash as the US moves closer to making marijuana fully legal. And so the Model Jamaica is using will be better for this country. Small amounts in a controlled environment.

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Kalikgold 2 months, 2 weeks ago

As you may know, it's about to be legal in Canada for recreational purposes. Have a look at the below article

https://globalnews.ca/news/4309415/health-weed-canada-legalization/

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joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Bahamian parents used to have a specific saying for children who said "but my friends do it, why can't I?"

Buggery and gender neutrality are legal in Canada as well, doesn't make it right!

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Kalikgold 2 months, 2 weeks ago

who determines what is right and what is wrong. nobody is forcing you to do it, but let people live. whats more dangerous than alcohol, dont worry ill wait

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Clamshell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This will relieve everybody’s stress from not really worrying about working for a living.

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SP 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The Bahamas will invent reasons to abstain. Jackass does as jackass is.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

And just wait until you see those new auto insurance and business liability premiums. Talk about unaffordable!!!

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

"Only one percent of respondents said they obtained most of their information from medical journals or research articles."

Lol. Those are the only ones who probably have any info on the subject...the results say we believe it's addictive but go ahead and legalize it.

Plenty people who think they'll be suddenly rich will be in for a surprise, if the big boys don't close the market, that is option one, option two, many people will try to be small time dealers iand will drive down the price, people will grow their own supplies, the people stealing coconuts and juju will be stealing herb, rival gangs will target each other's farms...and no I didn't dream this up, I watched a documentary on some of the challenges facing California weed growers. And don't talk about the testing. Apparently there's some fungus that can attack these plants that's deadly if inhaled, plants have to be checked with a knowing eye. When the young men realize the hard work, one couple said 16 hour days every day in the hot blazing sun...unless you have money for a green house....its not the clean pretty picture everyone puts forward. It needs REALISTIC discussion

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Joeblow, your post highlighting that while Buggery is legal in Canada - that its not in colony islands - is incorrect.

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DWW 2 months, 2 weeks ago

i personally know at least 2 people in severe pain whom this would benefit instead of taking opiods which ruin the already sketchy liver/kidneys.

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TalRussell 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Comrade DWW, I swear pan freshly baked Brownies that when I started reading your post - I thought you were going say - "I personally know at least 2 people in severe pain whom benefit from relaxation Buggery laws."

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Lol what is wrong with you. ROTFL

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