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The Rastafarian community will have a key place in the legalisation of ganja



The local Rastafarian community can expect to make top dollars from Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration following its commitment to set aside a prestigious place for them in the plan to move towards commercialisation of the marijuana industry for medicinal purposes.

Speaking in his first engagement with the media for the New Year, the Prime Minister told the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) on its “Beyond The Headline” programme that some “restorative justice” has to be given to Rastas for their struggle in the fight to legalise ganja.

“..We have to look at the persons who persisted over the years in trying to frankly educate us properly about the use of the plant and in this part of the world it is the Rastafarian community so some special regards have to be paid to them,” he said.

According to PM Dickon Mitchell, some social and legal work has to be done also in going forward to address the question of persons who were arrested over the years for ganja-related offences.

He said the new Congress government which came to power following the June 23 general election on the island has set up a new committee “to guide us to where we really want to go” on the issue of medicinal and commercial use of marijuana.

He also said the administration sees it as “a misallocation of resources” to continue to criminalise marijuana which is widely now seen as a plant with serious medicinal value.

The Prime Minister stated that the government is not inclined to waste state resources by allowing members of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) going after people for just “a spliff” in their possession.

“It makes no sense and the police are better off doing proper policing rather than chasing someone for a spliff and so on,” he said.

However, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell was quick to add that his Congress regime “does not want to send the message carte blanche that anyone can consume and grow marijuana as they wish.”

“That’s not the intention and the marijuana industry will be regulated – The intent is to have a regulated industry, a licencing system,” he said.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the government will also have to lay out a plan to protect the population as the marijuana industry “is big business.”

“…If we don’t craft a homegrown solution and we simply open up – you know what’s going to happen – people with money are going to come in, they will probably acquire land and then out-plant and out-produce our local people. So we want to make sure that production in particular stays in the hands of Grenadians.”

“We would certainly welcome partners when it comes to manufacturing and development of some of the bi-products but I think it’s important for production to remain in the hands of Grenadians so we can control what happens.”

The former New National Party (NNP) administration of defeated Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had tabled legislation in Parliament to decriminalise ganja for recreational and religious purposes, but it was never debated even though the party controlled all 15 seats in the Lower House.

Within weeks of coming to office seven months ago, the new administration signaled its intention to push ahead on the ganja issue.

Businesswoman Rolanda McQueen was named to head a 12-member Commission on Cannabis Legalisation and Regulation to engage in broad-based consultations and to engage in public awareness on the policy decision to legalise cannabis within a legal and regulatory framework.

During the re-opening of Parliament following the June 23 general election, Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade announced in the Throne speech that the Congress government intends to invest in the marijuana industry.

Dame Cecile told the Joint sitting of Parliament: “Cannabis will be legalised and a legal and regulatory framework for its production and sale will be created to commence and guide the development of the industry. The focus will be on the medical and industrial uses of the plant, to create employment, and generate foreign exchange.”

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Fatal shooting in Gouyave



Grenada police are currently investigating two deaths this past week including what appears to be an execution on Tuesday night in Gun Battle in St John in which one man was killed.

The other incident which took place on Sunday related to the recovery of the body of 46-year old David Forte who was found naked among rocks face down in an area known as Russian Point in St David .

Family members believe foul play is at work as the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) continue with their investigation into the incident.

According to one family member, the police are continuing to hold on to the body of Forte and have not given it over for burial.

He said that he last saw the deceased on Sunday around noon in the company of an individual who is said to be of interest to the police in their ongoing investigation.

He indicated that about 2 hours later, the girlfriend of David called a family member to report that the person with whom he was last seen in public to “say a whole hour he and Forte down in Russian Point and Forte say he going an ease his bowel and how up to now Forte can’t come back and he searching for him all over the place and can’t find him.”

Within minutes, family members of the deceased reached the beach to help look for the missing man.

THE NEW TODAY was told that they are very suspicious of the reported incident as the person of interest to the police was giving some kind of explanation as to what happened and “that just didn’t make sense to me.”

“…The place where he said he parked up (the vehicle), the place where he said (David) went is like literally walking into the roughest part of the ocean. Everybody that hearing the story say that ain’t make no sense. A lot of people are talking and they’re saying that isn’t sounding right.”

“The guy is very sketchy. Up to now the guy hasn’t really come and say nothing to us. The day when the body was found, the man walked straight – he peeped at the body then he go on the phone and all ah hear he saying is that they find him, they find his body on the rocks in La Tante.

“Just as how he make the walk come across, he made a 360 on the phone and he went his way. Everybody is asking about him and for him and he (is) just now showing up. On top of that I am not seeing any remorse on the man’s face or nothing.”

A brief statement put out by RGPF on the incident said: “Police are investigating the death of David Forte 46 years old, painter, of Grand Bacolet, St. Andrew. Mr Forte and another man reportedly left to go fishing at La Tante Bay on Sunday 19th March 2023.

Mr Forte was said to have separated from his companion and had not returned. A subsequent search for him proved futile.

The body of Mr David Forte was discovered by a search party, between the rocks, in the shallow waters of the La Tante Bay, around 9:30 a.m, today Monday 20th March 2023. He was then pronounced dead. A postmortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

THE NEW TODAY understands that a local Pathologist did conduct the post-mortem while the family members are exploring the possibility of getting another one done.

In the other incident, police are focused on the northwestern community of Gun Battle following the fatal shooting of a young man just before 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Dead is 30-year-old Johnathan Richards also known as “Not Nice,” who resided at River Lane Gouyave, St. John at the time of the incident.

The 30-year-old was reportedly shot at least six (6) times while hanging out in the popular Gun Battle area.

Information is sketchy but speculation is rife that the execution-style shooting may have been drug-related and that a Vincentian national may be responsible for Richards’ death.

Sources say the assailant emerged from the seafront dressed in all black.

Richards was no stranger to the law as he was arrested in June 2019, along with a Vincentian identified as Cornelius Hackshire, in connection with a robbery incident at D. A Munroe and Sons Sunshine Snacks store, located on Grenville Street, St. George.

Richards was also arrested by police in April 2021 and slapped with two (2) counts of Attempt to Commit Non-Capital Murder, Possession of a Firearm and ammunition following an incident along the northwestern side of the country, which resulted in an 11-year-old child receiving a gunshot wound to his arm.

Prime Minister and Minister for National Security Dickon Mitchell referred to the Gun Battle execution as he raised concerns over the growing trend of external influences on gun-related crimes in Grenada and other Eastern Caribbean countries during Wednesday’s opening of the Regional Security Systems (RRS) Council of Ministers at the Radisson hotel.

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Grenada suffers 7-1 defeat against U.S.



Grenada received one of its heaviest loss in a football game at the National Stadium at Queen’s Park in St George’s when the United States (U.S.) defeated the home team 7-1 in front of an almost full venue in the CONCACAF Nations League.

The Spice Boys went behind as early as the 4th minute when playmaker, Christian Pulisic who dominated the left side of the field, crossed the ball into the penalty area to Ricardo Pepi who headed the ball easily pass goalkeeper, Jason Belfon.

The U.S went 2-0 up in the 20th minute of play when Pulisic, who was creating problems for the home team with his pace, was able to make a pass into the penalty area again for Brenden Aaronson to drive his shot past a helpless Belfon.

Eleven minutes later, the visitors went 3-0 from a Pulisic free kick on the left flank which created all sorts of problems for the Grenada defense and when the ball deflected from one of its defenders, it fell onto the feet of Weston McKennie and found the back of the net.

Against the run of play, Grenada was able to pull a goal back minutes later when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong made a run on the right side of the U.S. defence and found Myles Hippolyte who delivered a shot with power past the American goalkeeper, Matt Turner.

One minute later, the US team extended the lead again to make it 4-1 and to shut out the home team from the game when its best player on the field Pulisic was able to stand just outside the penalty box and put the ball in the area of the far post, where Auston Trusty rose up and headed the ball down to McKennie, who once again was able to score the goal from just a few feet away.

With the U.S. enjoying a comfortable 4-1 lead at halftime, the local support was drowned out by the hundreds of American medical students at St George’s University (SGU) at True Blue in the south of the island who showed up at the stadium to support their country.

Both Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and members of his Cabinet were also in attendance at the game.

Within four minutes of the resumption of play, the U.S. continued its dominance when Pulisic scored after he received a pass from Luca de la Torre and put the ball underneath Belfon and onto the goal line.

The goal deflated the home team and it was not surprising when the Americans notched up their 6th goal on the night when a De la Torre pass found Pepi in the penalty area and he slid the ball pass Belfon.

Alejandro Zendejas brought further misery for Grenada in the 72nd minute of play when he found the back of net from a few metres away from the goal post.

The U.S., with seven points from two victories and one draw, is set to win Group D of the tournament’s League A with a win or a tie on Monday against El Salvador (5 points) in Orlando, Florida.

The winners from each of the four groups advance to the semi-finals on June 15 in Las Vegas.

Grenada is not expected to advance any further in the competition due to this heavy loss at home.

The Nations League is used to determine the top teams in CONCACAF while also serving as a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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Call for review of security arrangement around PM Dickon Mitchell



A former National Security Advisor has called for a review of the Security arrangements around Grenada’s nine-month old Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell following Tuesday’s vehicle accident involving the State vehicle that he was travelling in along the Springs main road.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, the security expert said he picked up information that there was no police outrider to help clear the traffic to prevent the Prime Minister and his Security Detail from getting bogged down in the traffic as the area is known to be affected by traffic in the early morning rush hour.

He recalled reports in the media since the June 23, 2022 change of government in which the Congress leader emerged as the island’s Prime Minister that concerns have been raised about his personal security.

He spoke of some of the former security around assassinated Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and retired senior police officers have been expressing the view to him that it is quite evident based on certain apparent security lapses that the PM Dickon Mitchell’s security detail might be lacking in some areas.

The security official suggested that the best officers within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) should do a review in order to ascertain whether some of the security personnel assigned to the 45-year old Grenadian leader are in need of better training in driving, escorting and protecting the Prime Minister.

He recalled an incident that he witnessed first-hand about three weeks ago involving the entourage of the Prime Minister in the Grand Anse area near to the basketball court.

“Apparently he (PM Dickon Mitchell) was going to an event and probably he was running a bit late, but the manner in which the convoy was taking over vehicles and trying to get its way, I was very concerned.”

“Yes, they had the flashing lights and siren but still you had the Head of government in there and his safety and protection must always be paramount – he could reach a minute, five minutes late (as) the event can’t start without him.”

“I thought that the way the person was driving wasn’t in keeping with the kind of driving you would do for a Head of State or a Head of government. Again he didn’t have any outrider – in that case it was the two black jeeps.”

“I think it’s high time that they re-evaluate the people around the Prime Minister in terms of providing security for him.”

The former National Security Advisor stated that the convoy accompanying the Prime Minister should be at least 3 vehicles – with one clearing the way, and another serving as a back-up vehicle in the rear with other highly armed security personnel.

According to the top security official, there should always be another vehicle somewhere close to the Prime Minister to provide better protection for him like in case of the accident in Springs.

“That vehicle is the one in which you have to extricate the Prime Minister from the situation and the scene– put him in that vehicle and take him away,” he said.

He felt that the Prime Minister should not be kept on the scene in the open as no one knew for sure that what happened at Springs could have been part of a deliberate ambush to hurt him.

“You don’t know if they had men waiting in the bushes to open up automatic fire on him,” he said.

Several persons reported seeing the Prime Minister and coming up to him to see if he was alright after the accident.

According to the official, ex-Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had “a very good” Security Detail around him including personnel with heavy automatic weapons in case of an attack on him.

He felt that the Springs incident calls for some “drastic re-evaluation of the security protocols including the senior Security team putting him to sit down and say (to him) look if you want us to protect you there are certain things that we would have to overrule.”

He pointed out that in the United States, there are certain things that the President would like to do but “the Secret Service will tell him blankly that you can’t do that because if you do that we can’t guarantee that we could protect you.”

“So (Prime Minister) Dickon (Mitchell) has to understand his position – he is not just Dickon now, he is the Head of a Government and he has to remember that that brings a lot of responsibility,” he said.

He also told THE NEW TODAY that if Tuesday’s incident was life-threatening for the Prime Minister he was sure that “the whole country would have gone into chaos because it is only nine-six situation in Parliament.”

“There is no one around them there that would be able to galvanise the people and either run the country in his absence or God forbid should he pass away. So he has to look at all these things – the (Prime Minister) is taking these things too nonchalantly.”

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell was considered as the key player in helping Congress to take charge of the seat of power in St George’s from the New National Party (NNP) of Keith Mitchell which won clean sweeps at the polls in the 2013 and 2018 general elections.

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Underneath Part 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “honest use” for functions akin to criticism, remark, information reporting, instructing, scholarship, and analysis. Honest use is a use permitted by copyright statute that may in any other case be infringing.”

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