Jamaica takes next step in ganja decriminalisation

| 22/01/2015 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Positioning itself to take the lead in the production of ganja in the Caribbean in the face of a worldwide shift in perception about the drug, the Jamaican Senate will be reviewing proposed legislative changes this week regarding its use. Cabinet has approved a bill that legalises the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provides a licensing authority for the cultivation, sale and distribution of ganja for medical and therapeutic purposes.

Decriminalisation is slowly spreading in the region, as well as in the United States, after decades of the failed war on drugs. In Mexico, Colombia and Argentina marijuana possession in small amounts was decriminalised a few years ago, and Argentina is drafting a set of proposals to loosen restrictions on possession. In Guatemala, President Otto Perez Molina is proposing moves to push for the legalisation of marijuana and potentially other drugs. Chile and Costa Rica are also debating the introduction of medical marijuana policies. Uruguay last year became the first country in the world to approve the growth, sale and distribution of marijuana.

With the proposed changes to the law in our near neighbour, this issue is bound to impact the Cayman Islands. But even as the world begins to recognize the incredible medicinal properties of the drug, the Cayman government is not even willing to debate the issue, with no legislators willing to comment on the matter.

Cayman still has some of the most draconian laws against ganja use, with even consumption remaining a criminal offence. A recent article on CNS revealed that more than 10,000 people in Cayman have some form of criminal record. Because of poor record keeping by the local authorities the police cannot reveal what each of those individuals have been criminalized for but anecdotal evidence would suggest a significant proportion is for the consumption or possession of minor amounts of ganja or traffic offences.

Related article on CNS: 20% of Cayman has a conviction

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Comments (4)

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  1. Educated says:

    Please provide me with your scientific proof which backs up these false statements. I know people who have smoked Marijuana their entire lives and are intelligent upstanding citizens.

    People are ignorant about Marijuana because all they have been told about it is that it is for bums and will rot your brain. This is a lie and people need to learn how to think for themselves and maybe do a bit of research before forming an ‘opinion’.

    • H2O says:

      There is a vast amount of research on the subject of the effects of long term use of marijuana and its effect on the alteration of mood and personality when used consistently over a long period. This is what is undeniable. My opinion is formed becuase I am a user but have also a scientific research background.

  2. Truttella says:

    Unfortunately I cannot see Cayman take a modern view of marijuana. Decriminalization of simple possession and artisan cultivation would not make criminals out of regular people. I saw a recent police report congratulating themselves busting some UCCI students for smoking pot. In essence ruining those students lives with a felony conviction. Hurting young Caymanians and the future of these islands.

    • disqus_xZXv1tvnBp says:

      Indeed. I’m currently a university student who graduated from a Caymanian high school as an honor student, who regularly smokes marijuana, and my grades are excellent. There’s no reason why the police should be boasting about ruining the young caymanian’s lives over a natural plant, as if it is actually the ‘devil’s lettuce’. However, if they were to find out that I was an alcoholic who threw up at the bars, they wouldn’t look at me twice. Shows how closed minded this country is.

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