Home-Grown Development: Reconceptualising Cannabis Policy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Healy


In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, history, geography, geology, and the international political economy have set the stage for the proliferation of inherently racist ideology through colonialism and neocolonialism. Within this milieu, cannabis has taken on a multiplicity of meanings for different social groupings. Perceptions of cannabis are still being shaped as it permeates racial and class boundaries, and prohibition has resulted negative societal, economic and environmental impacts. The Caribbean region has undergone various transitions from the production of one cash crop to another, beginning with chattel slavery to new development efforts (from modernisation to sustainable development). Illegal cannabis production has grown in ever more importance providing a source of livelihood for the rural peasant outside of the formal market structure, filling gaping deficiencies in the social safety net. This paper takes a postcolonial approach to examining the confluence of factors that have culminated in the country’s status as the largest producer of cannabis in the Eastern Caribbean; its denials of rights and livelihoods and possibilities for alternatives for the future that promote social justice and equity.

Keywords: Colonialism, Colonialisation, Development, Home-grown Neoliberal, Cannabis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Policy, Postcolonialism

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