August 7, 2020 -United St Maarten Party (USP) Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius Buncamper sent a letter to the Minister of Justice, the honorable Anna Richardson on Thursday recommending the instituting of a tolerance policy on the usage of soft drugs and cannabis plants.
In his letter to the minister, the MP outlined the uphill battle in dealing with the review and amendments of the laws pertaining to the legalization of the use of soft drugs and the use of medicinal cannabis. “I have reviewed various draft legislations in the Dutch Kingdom, particularly in Curacao and Aruba, of which the objective is to create a legal basis to develop an alternative income-generating revenue stream for the country”, Buncamper stated in his letter to the minister.
Taking into account the time required to draft and complete the legislation to legalize the use of cannabis, MP Buncamper proposes “that we consider adopting a tolerance policy similar to that which is accepted in the Netherlands.” The MP feels that such a policy will avoid the unnecessary prosecution and possible incarceration of soft drug users. In addition, the policy will facilitate the establishment of coffee shops, which can be considered a welcomed boost to our economy and diversification in the tourism industry while raising much-needed tax revenue.
The MP proposed that a workgroup be established to further look into adopting the tolerance policy and the feasibilities of legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.