Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 11th 2013 Contents A39
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
KINGSTOWN---Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
has written to the chair of the Caribbean Commu-
nity (Caricom) grouping calling for a discussion on
the medicinal and other uses of marijuana.
In his letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar, Gonsalves said it is high time that Caricom
addresses regionally "this matter in a sensible focus
not hysterical manner".
Prime Minister Gonsalves said that the marijuana
plant has a bundle of proven and potentially beneficial
uses and while it is true that its use and abuse and
the consequential criminalisation of its cultivation,
possession and supply have impacted on the health,
welfare and security of the people.
Gonsalves in his letter made a plea for "a reasoned
debate" led by Caricom political and civic leadership
in the context of the legislation of marijuana.
He said the matter should be explored at the next
meeting of the Bureau of Caricom leaders scheduled
for Trinidad on September 13.
The letter added that preparatory work can possibly
be done so as to place the matter in the agenda of
the Caricom Inter-Sessional summit to be held here
in February next year.
Prime Minister Gonsalves said the general public
disappointed with "the failure and or refusal of the
political and civic leadership in Caricom to jettison
it or unnecessary caution and lethargy in addressing
some of the controversial contemporary issues of
real import". (CMC)
DENVER---US wildlife officials plan
to crush more than six tons of ivory
in Denver as part of a new push by
the United States to combat illegal
wildlife trafficking worldwide.
The ivory was seized around the
country in an effort to block imports
of tusks from elephants that have been
slaughtered for their ivory.
The seized items include large balls
of ivory delicately carved in layers and
whole tusks that have been sculpted
into pagodas and scenes from daily life.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service
said publicly crushing the expensive
smuggled tusks and carvings is part of
an effort to put an end to what has
become a $10 billion illegal industry.
Steve Oberholtzer, the agency s Den-
ver-based special agent in charge, is
lining up rock-grinders to pulverise the
ivory in October.
Much of the ivory no longer fits on
shelves. Piles of tusks and boxes full
of bracelets and decorations clutter the
floor. Forklifts are used to clear pathways
between heavy pallets of the plunder.
Some tusks are from young elephants,
representing generations lost because
elephants cannot reproduce until age
25, and poachers usually kill elephants
before sawing off their tusks. (AP)
6 tons of seized ivory
to be crushed in Denver
in the clay
was used to
BUCHAREST---Six Romanians charged with stealing
paintings by Monet, Matisse and Picasso from a
Dutch museum will plead guilty in hope of getting
a reduced sentence, their lawyers said yesterday.
Lawyer Maria Vasii said they would enter the guilty
pleas at the next hearing on October 22, hoping the
sentences would be reduced by one-third. They could
face a maximum 20 years for the theft.
The paintings have not been recovered. Forensic
experts have examined ash from the stove of Olga
Dogaru, the mother of the chief suspect, Radu Dogaru.
According to authorities, she initially said she burned
the paintings to protect her son, but later denied
having done so.
Insurers Lloyds of London was listed outside the
court yesterday as a civil party in the trial. Vasii said
the Triton Foundation, which owned the seven paint-
ings, has been paid some 18 million euros ($23.8 mil-
Another defence lawyer, Catalin Dancu, said his
clients did not realise that paintings they stole from
Rotterdam s Kunsthal gallery in October were genuine
masterpieces. The theft was the biggest art heist in
the Netherlands for more than a decade.
Thieves broke in through a rear emergency exit of
the Kunsthal, grabbed the paintings off the wall, put
them in sacks and fled---all within minutes. (AP)
art theft to
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