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Jamaica Pushes Forward With Decriminalizing Marijuana by End of Year

Jamaica will this year join a virtual tidal wave of countries across the globe in decriminalizing ganja, the forerunner to the establishment of a medicinal marijuana industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

The undertaking was given to the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task force by Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Phillip Paulwell, according to one of the main task force leaders, Delano Seiveright.

In a press statement yesterday, Seiveright said Paulwell, who is also the minister of science, technology, energy and mining, told members of the task force at a meeting last Thursday that “ganja will be decriminalized in Jamaica this year and emphasized that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue.”

“He also reiterated the multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that Jamaica stands to gain if the laws are adjusted sooner, rather than later,” Seiveright said.

He said officials at the meeting, held at the PCJ Auditorium in Kingston, had agreed to the formal launch of the Future Ganja Growers Association next month to spearhead the establishment of a local ganja industry, which advocates believe will pump billions of dollars into the Jamaican economy.

If Paulwell’s promise becomes reality — a strong possibility because of bipartisan support in the Parliament — Jamaica could be the first English-speaking Caribbean country to decriminalize ganja and usher in a new era, allowing Jamaicans to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes under State regulation.

Legalization or decriminalization of the weed has been sweeping the globe, led by the United States where Colorado, followed by Washington state, has demonstrated the earning power of marijuana. America’s tax take has already been put at an estimated US$100 million a year.

Jamaica’s Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task force comprises the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja and several members of civil society. The group is chaired by University of the West Indies, Mona Principal Professor Archibald McDonald. Other leading Ganja Law Reform advocates sitting on the task force include Paul Chang and Paul Burke.

The task force also reiterated that a compulsory condition of involvement in the growers’ association was agreement by members not to take any part, directly or indirectly, in the growing or cultivation of ganja until there is a legal and regulated framework in place.

The association, according to the press statement, would “represent the best interests of the various stakeholders, giving primacy of place to the traditional ganja cultivator for a specified period”.

It would lobby the Jamaican government for the establishment of “a properly regulated cannabis industry in all aspects, cultivation, agro-processing, medicinal and its many and varied byproducts”; and promote control, education and taxation “as important planks of a regulated cannabis industry.”


What people are saying

11 thoughts on “Jamaica Pushes Forward With Decriminalizing Marijuana by End of Year

  1. Hasan Amir Tesfa says:

    Its about time Jamaica decided to wake up..this would be bring in much needed revenue for the island

  2. Glad to see that Jamaica will may see commonsense, legalise ganga, and dont let the US block them so that the Americans can fill their pockets, and leave the Jamaican people to ketch arse….. the rest of the iIslands must follow…. Imagine Alaska is about to legalise the herb

  3. Kannan Nair says:

    its all about addiction of cannabis…..but jamaica is going to get hell out of revenue out of this…..keep go…!!!!

  4. só quem conhece sabe oque acontece com a maresia,venha cannabis,

  5. Tony Gordon says:

    addiction ??? have you Smoked or looked into cannabis there is no addiction to it what so ever and also 0 death's for over 1000 years. Any thing you read about oh they died by cannabis is a lie and people that say they have a addiction to cannabis is talking outa there ARSE

  6. Kannan Nair says:

    Mr. Tony i have been seen peoples using this since from 2008 & i was 1 of them…..i have seen many lives…

  7. Kannan Nair you are clueless, sonny

  8. It might be habit-forming, and increased and frequent use might dull the effects leading to the smoking of more to achieve the same effect, but there's no cold turkey, no physical symptoms suggesting that the body has developed a dependency. In fact addiction has probably more to do with a individual's character than the substance itself. I can get drunk on occasions, but that doesn't make me an alcoholic, in fact after a while I feel so rubbish with regular drinking that I have to stop for a while.

  9. Robert Williams says:

    Being as it is used as one of the ways to cure addictions from alcohol to prescription drug and the normal culprits of heroin and the like, I would say you are very ill informed Kannan. People need to understand that cannabis prohibition was about money and so is legalisation, corporations have identified how they can make money, we should all grow for ourselves but as many would prefer just to buy from a good source there is money to be made providing corporations are prevented from writing laws to make it illegal for all but them to cultivate and sell.

  10. Steve Wilsonusa says:

    lots of tourists looking for island herbs

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