Given that my name and that of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) were mentioned by both distinguished gentlemen -- Dr Albert Lockhart and Dr Henry Lowe -- perhaps I should begin by attempting to clarify a point. I am currently the acting executive director for the Scientific Research Council (SRC), where I have been employed since the 1990s. My involvement with ganja research dates back to the early 1970s. My involvement with the research ended around the mid-1970s and has not been resumed in any shape or form. It should also be noted that, to the best of my knowledge, no research work on ganja was conducted by SRC in the past, and certainly none is being conducted at this point in time.
Having made that declaration I wish to continue by stating that in the 1960s, debate on the potency of the female vs the male plant was quite topical. Central to the debate was the perception that only the female plant could create the 'high'. That perception had legal implications.
Against that background, in the early 1970s I was awarded a postgraduate scholarship at UWI to undertake research into Jamaican Ganja, with a focus on the difference(s) between the male and female plants. Though the focus was changed early into the research regime, I continued the work because of some interesting scientific results.
As a Miconian, desirous of resuming my career in teaching, I cut short the research project at the master's level and took up an appointment as a chemistry lecturer in the Science Department at the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), now UTech. By agreement with UWI, I was to continue the research on a part-time basis to the PhD level, but that plan was thwarted by my passion for teaching, in addition to a profound abhorrence for writing. Thankfully that abhorrence has gone through a near 180-degree turn in more recent years.
Dr Manley West was a part-time pharmacology lecturer in the Science Department at CAST in those early days. Henry Lowe, who had not then gained his doctorate, was head of the department and obviously knew of my work on ganja. He approached me indicating that a cadre of scientists, including himself, Dr Lockhart and Dr West was being assembled to develop medicinals from the plant and requested me to extract the active principle, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as one of the starting materials and as a contribution to the research effort.
Acceding to the request, I extracted samples of THC and handed them to Mr Lowe who occasionally informed that the THC and other extracts were being used in formulations, including a possible treatment for a disease of the eye.
On one particular occasion I was advised by Dr Lowe that a meeting was scheduled among Drs West, Lockhart and himself in his office and I needed to have a sample of the extract ready for discussion. The sample was duly supplied. However, I was not a part of that or any other formal discussions relating to product development. I only but had fleeting and occasional exchanges with Dr West in the corridors of the department and sporadically with Mr Lowe, mostly in the staffroom and laboratory.
Hopefully this letter brings some semblance of clarity to the issue.
Scientific Research Council