LE SUJET DU MOISSOCIÉTÉ

The Real Tree of Liberty

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First, I want to apologize for this pen name. See, I had to use it in case my parents were to stumble upon this post and I would find myself in some hot water for speaking the truth and writing something that could be quite beneficial to my country.  So here it is, I will go by the name of Jean-Mary LeFèvre and I’m going to tell you how beneficial it would be for Haiti to legalize Marijuana. This isn’t some stoner-beating-around-the-bush-poetic-explanation of how sexually satisfying Marijuana is. Since I tend to find a lot of those different kinds of posts on blogs. I’m here to give you facts and ideas and why I believe Marijuana would work in Haiti.

First and foremost, Haiti presents the perfect growing conditions for cannabis. Our geographic contrasts are one of the best aspects about our country and why so many tourists and locals visit each year. We could grow top quality strains in the mountaintops of the country and would produce enough to sell it on a global scale.  The cannabis plant requires the perfect balance of humidity and temperature in order to grow. The mountains of Kenscoff and Fermathe offer just that. Individuals growing their own plants would make a considerable investment by buying land from farmers. The ones living in those areas are experts at growing crops and other products, which we have a hard time exporting anyways. So why not provide a new form of employment to the people in the area? Employ the farmers, pay them a decent salary for a day’s worth of work and they will work and harvest the land. Give them an ounce of that good stuff to take home after a hard day of work and allow them to smoke it while sipping on their night tea. Imagine the endless innovations that the Haitian culture can bring to Marijuana; from weed infused Kleren, to bud tea, to diverse hemp-based products. Those who decide to invest in just growing and farming in Haiti would contribute in giving this population of farmers a sustainable income. Those farmers can learn new farming and growing techniques. Those guys know how to cross breed plants and those same methods can be applied to farming Marijuana and could lead to the creation of new strains typical to the land of Haiti.

The second of the many benefits that we could get from the legalization of Marijuana in the country is export. Marijuana-based products are in demand around the world. Cannabis oil has proven its ability to cure cancers and several other life-threatening diseases. The world has a new-found craving for “organic” or “hand-made” products. So the Entrepreneurs who would be opening the farms and growing their own trees, could open factories or even small workshops in which people could be making Cannabis oil and other hemp products. Haiti could be the first major exporter of those products in the Caribbean. Jamaica recently legalized their ganja, but hasn’t developed the mindset necessary to export those products. I believe that our artisan skills are much more advanced than those of Jamaica. Why not export the actual product itself; the bud of the plant? We can export or native stuff to dispensaries in states where it’s legal. Just like our coffee, sugar and mangoes are globally renowned products. Why not add Marijuana to our arsenal of natural products exported by good ol’ Haiti?  We put so much emphasis on Production Locale so why not produce some new products that we could easily export to hundreds of places where Marijuana is legal. It will some way or another put Haiti on the map.

Given that this growth of tourism in Haiti remains consistent within the next five years, the legalization of Marijuana in our territory could contribute to higher growth in that sector. Tourists that arrive on massive cruise ships to the coasts of Labadee could buy our locally grown products.  Haiti could have the reputation of being the smoke spot of the Caribbean. Just like you would walk on the sidewalks and buy local arts and crafts, along with agricultural products, you could find our locally grown Marijuana or weed-based products such as oil, paper, and other hemp products. We can have massive cannabis farms, which tourists would surely pay to visit and smoke in the chilly mountains of Haiti.

Realistically speaking, the Haitian society is not ready to accept such a concept. What would be the implications of even attempting to pass such a law? It would have to start with changing the mindset of the people and quite frankly I can’t tell you that I have a solution for this. But I can tell you that one would have to make Haitians believe in the beneficial aspects of Marijuana. The use of Marijuana is an underground movement in Haiti and is kept underground because of the stereotype we place on those who smoke it. One would have to make the old-school Haitian parents understand that Marijuana has its benefits. You would have to go up to your parents and tell them that Marijuana can cure cancer; it has been tested and proven. It is able to cure depression and would therefore help alleviate the stress they experience everyday in this country. It would be beneficial to the streets and would force those dealers and growers in Haiti to come out of the shadows and would allow them to make a substantial living off their natural products.  It would be beneficial to the country as a whole. We would be part of what some call “The New Gold Rush”. The global Marijuana market is a billion dollar industry today. This is a global rendezvous that Haiti could be part of, we have the natural resources and the means to produce and export those products. Yet again, we’re going to let it slip away just like all the global rendezvous that we already missed.

It is a sad reality of how non-progressive the Haitian society is. We like to keep our traditions and our culture alive. I don’t blame anyone or neither do I blame my parents for wanting this. One thing that this youth should keep in mind is that you will never be able to stop Progress. We need to realize that the world is changing and it has greatly changed since 1804 or since January 2010 for that matter. A lot of things happened to us and we lament on them. To this day in 2015 people still talk about our 200 years of independence. Every time someone writes something about Haiti it was to begin with something along the lines of “The earthquake-struck Haiti”. News flash: the world keeps on spinning. They may love it when things happen to us but they keep on moving and the world keeps progressing. It’s time we jump on the bandwagon, which will be beneficial to us. We missed out on the industrial revolution, we missed out on the technology revolution. It is about time that we become leaders in a new global movement.

Jean-Mary Lefèvre

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