25 Jun 2004

Fiji senator says Asian Development Bank must not promote marijuana cultivation

10:40 am on 25 June 2004

A Fiji government senator has accused the Asian Development Bank of promoting the cultivation of marijuana.

Senator Ratu Inoke Takiveikata made the accusation when speaking on the new Illicit Drugs Bill in the Upper House.

Ratu Inoke said the ADB "was attempting to destroy our people by promoting the commercial production and local consumption of marijuana.

This follows an ADB report which suggested that commercial marijuana cultivation as an alternative crop for cane farmers displaced in the restructure of the sugar industry.

Ratu Inoke, who is facing a charge of conspiracy for the November 2000 army mutiny and is on the New Zealand government's blacklist, said the motivations of the Asian Development Bank are far from noble due to the tragic effects of marijuana.

He said the ADB was targetting indigenous Fijian youths as their consumers.