Jamaica to Look Again at Decriminalizing Marijuana

Ten years ago, Jamaica's government-appointed National Commission on Ganja produced a report calling for marijuana decriminalization, which the Jamaican government, under pressure from the US, promptly forgot about. But now, the government of Prime Minister Bruce Golding has announced that it will again review those recommendations.

The Jamaican government just might give this Rastaman something else to smile about. (Image via Wikimedia)
According to the Associated Press, the decision was announced Monday in Kingston. Six cabinet ministers will review the 2001 report.

That report, which was authored by academics and physicians, found that pot smoking was "culturally entrenched" in the island nation and that most moderate users suffered no ill effects. While it called for decriminalization, ominous rumblings from the US Embassy in Kingston at the time ensured that the notion died a quiet death.

Ganja has broad -- although not complete -- public acceptance in Jamaica, where it is considered a sacrament by adherents of Rastafarianism. But its possession or cultivation is illegal under Jamaican law.

The Rev. Webster Edwards, who was a commission member, told the Associated Press Tuesday he was relieved that the report would be reviewed by cabinet members and that he hoped the review would eventually lead to loosening the marijuana laws. That would require legislative action.

"There have been many persons who have been lifelong smokers of ganja who have not moved to harder drugs at all," Edwards said. "Decriminalizing very, very small quantities will allow persons not to get strikes against them in the justice system."

The US has long worked with Jamaican authorities to eradicate marijuana cultivation and smuggling from Jamaica to the US. Embassy officials told the AP Tuesday that they did not know why the Jamaican government was taking up the issue, but that it was an internal affair.

"Whatever the impetus, it's an internal Jamaican issue, and we therefore don't comment on either the debate or the outcome," Embassy spokeswoman Yolonda Kerney said.

Has enough changed in the past decade for the Jamaican government to actually move forward on the ganja commission recommendations this time? Has enough changed for Washington to not interfere? Let's hope so.

Jamaica
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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I hate how are government

I hate how are government keeps bullying countries into keeping ganja illegal. Fuck America what are they going to do if a country makes it legal send in the troops i highly doubt it. If you stand up to a bully afterwards they will usually leave you alone. Stand up against Fascism Jamaica.

omgits OUR, not are

omg

its OUR, not are

rude

some people have learning disabilities, show some respect. you understand the message, stop judging the delivery. being a grammer nazi is just another form of being rude.

Maybe if he wasn't such a

Maybe if he wasn't such a dumbass he wouldn't have posted the incorrect form of "our". I don't give a fuck about a learning disability, learn the damn difference or fuck off.

Pretty ironic coming from

Pretty ironic coming from someone who used "its" instead of "it's".

Pretty ironic coming from

Pretty ironic coming from someone who used "its" instead of "it's".

Pretty ironic

Pretty ironic coming from someone who used "its" instead of "it's".

Umm i don't have a learning

Umm i don't have a learning disability and i know the difference between "our" and "are." Even if i didn't that would hardly make me a dumbass. You would make bad teacher by the way, so would just call everyone that gets something wrong a dumbass or would you politely correct them so next time they wouldn't make that mistake. It was an honest mistake and it not hard to mix them up when your tired at 4:00 in the morning and not really thinking. But thanks for rudely correcting me and sorry for being human who makes mistakes. 

you're

/sigh, sorry

TJ, Please re-submit your

TJ, Please re-submit your comment using actual language so that I may understand what you are trying to convey. I have difficulty deciphering the gibberish above. Thank you.

TJ, Please re-submit your

TJ,

 

Please re-submit your comment using actual language, so that I may understand what you are trying to convey. I have trouble deciphering the gibberish above. It appears to be randomly selected words clustered together with occasional punctuation marks, such as a web spam-bot might generate. I would like to believe that you are a human that makes mistakes, but without further evidence, I shall be forced to conclude that you are a foreign language translation program with broken idiomatic algorithms. Thank you.

Grammar Nazi's are not only

Grammar Nazi's are not only rude, but their complaints are usually made so that they in some way can feel superior to others! Get a life! Some people do not and have not had the educational oppturnities that you or I have had in "our" culture!

o_o

OMG, it's "It's", with an apostrophe, since it's a contraction of two words. "Its" indicates possession. Also, capital letters and full stops are your friends if you're interested in writing full sentences and being taken seriously.

If you're going to be an asshole grammar Nazi then at least do it right.

@american_but_not_ignorant

You do not have one bit of proper grammar. Maybe I don't either, but I'm not a low-life grammar nazi. What kind of a word is omgits? Also, omg is not a word.  I don't think a single comma is enough punctuation for a sentence, anyway.

omgits is not a word

@american_but_not_ignorant

You should just give up.

Send in the troops?  Probably

Send in the troops?  Probably not.  Enact a whole bunch of crippling sanctions/an embargo of some sort?  Yeah, they would.  Don't underestimate Babylon, mon.

Sanctions for re-legaizing a

Sanctions for re-legaizing a plant that was legal for the entirety of human history, until some greedy American businessmen decided to push through a law IN AMERICA to ban the stuff? What gives the US the 'world police' status they think they have? Fuck America. I know a great many Americans who are fantastic people, but as a nation on a whole, you royally fuck things up all the damn time. This is a sovereign nation working on their own internal affairs, and they have been unable to enact legislation in their countries own best interests because a few wingnuts in Washington decided that they are also the government of everywhere?

Wake up. The US is losing its hold on the world. And when the day comes that the US is like England - unable to stick their fingers deep enough in any pies for anyone to care - I am going to laugh so fucking hard.

I'm already laughing every time I buy something from eBay, and our dollar just keeps climbing above the greenback,

 

So. Many. Lols.

/csb

big business

it's not that the politicians are principled, they are merely reacting to the lobbyists for the food, fuel and pharmaceutical industries who see their bottom line threatened by sales in Cannabis and reason that the shareholders wouldn't like that.

since it's industry that provides money for campaigning, the politicians will listen very carefully to the lobbyists and the voices of the people will be irrelevant.

they call it democracy - i don't. 

Right on

Definitely agree with you, but I don't think the food industry is going to see their bottom line threatened by cannabis :)

Pharmaceutical industry, yes, but not the food industry. Think of the profits Pepsico will reap! They own Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC! I'd buying stock there if there was ever serious noise about decriminalization in the states.

Cotton

You guys are forgetting about the cotton industry.  They'll do what they can to stop it as well.  They have billions to lose if hemp catches on.

Amazng

They are without doubt some of the coolest people ever.

www.total-privacy.it.tc

I wish Mexico, and all the

I wish Mexico, and all the South and Central American governments, and Jamaica too, would legalize weed. Tell our corrupt government to fuck off, and do whatever you like. Nothing will happen since no one else will care. What do you buy from us besides the dirtiest grain exports in the world? Piss on the US government, and their hypocritic asses.

i dont have a problem with

i dont have a problem with those that smoke mj but i wonder how many countries are going to make the transition to legalization,  many other harder drugs are being considered too.  the amount of money changing hands and the filtering of risk takers has taken its toll there are truly some hard line persons involved in this trade.  does anyone think they are going to give up their income source without a fight?  if they meld into the legal market somehow do you think they will not take the gains to finance other immoral adventures for profit ?   many powerful people are not going to let go without a fight to end up on top.  decrimalization of small  amounts, laws that hammer consumption in public, sale to minors, and substance abuse programs while all along a agressive shutting down the illegal trade should preempt any attempt to discuss legalization.

U.S. attitude

I had heard that the U.S. was the main reason for the failure of the last attempt at decriminalization in Jamaica.  I also heard the same thing has happened when Canada was making noises about decriminalization.  No wonder people are flying airliners into our buildings!  Did we think we could just go on muscling our way around the world, dictating to sovereign nations what their internal and foreign policies should be and not incur any consequences?

It is obvious that there are some very influential groups intervening in powerful ways for marijuana to have remained illegal for over 70 years!  It only took 13 years for people to wake up and realize the foolishness of alcohol prohibition.  All that has been accomplished by the "War on Drugs" has been to create yet another criminal element in our society and lose forever all the financial benefits of legalization.

I wish more countries would tell the U.S. to "stick it where the sun don't shine" when we try to bully them into doing what we think they should be doing!

Get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, stop foreign aid, and get out of the UN!

U.S. attitude

I had heard that the U.S. was the main reason for the failure of the last attempt at decriminalization in Jamaica.  I also heard the same thing has happened when Canada was making noises about decriminalization.  No wonder people are flying airliners into our buildings!  Did we think we could just go on muscling our way around the world, dictating to sovereign nations what their internal and foreign policies should be and not incur any consequences?

It is obvious that there are some very influential groups intervening in powerful ways for marijuana to have remained illegal for over 70 years!  It only took 13 years for people to wake up and realize the foolishness of alcohol prohibition.  All that has been accomplished by the "War on Drugs" has been to create yet another criminal element in our society and lose forever all the financial benefits of legalization.

I wish more countries would tell the U.S. to "stick it where the sun don't shine" when we try to bully them into doing what we think they should be doing!

Get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, stop foreign aid, and get out of the UN!

U.S. - Stay out of other countries internal affairs!!!

 

http://stopthedrugwar.org/sites/all/themes/drcnet/images/body_bg.png); background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: rgb(182, 171, 142); line-height: 1.4em; font: normal normal normal 13px/1.5 Helvetica, Arial, 'Liberation Sans', FreeSans, sans-serif; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat; ">

I had heard that the U.S. was the main reason for the failure of the last attempt at decriminalization in Jamaica.  I also heard the same thing has happened when Canada was making noises about decriminalization.  No wonder people are flying airliners into our buildings!  Did we think we could just go on muscling our way around the world, dictating to sovereign nations what their internal and foreign policies should be and not incur any consequences?

It is obvious that there are some very influential groups intervening in powerful ways for marijuana to have remained illegal for over 70 years!  It only took 13 years for people to wake up and realize the foolishness of alcohol prohibition.  All that has been accomplished by the "War on Drugs" has been to create yet another criminal element in our society and lose forever all the financial benefits of legalization.

I wish more countries would tell the U.S. to "stick it where the sun don't shine" when we try to bully them into doing what we think they should be doing!

Get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, stop foreign aid, and get out of the UN!

It's called a typo - get over

It's called a typo - get over yourself. People make mistakes. If you don't want to see misspellings and bad grammar, stay off the internet.

All y'all fightin about

All y'all fightin about proper grammar and such should just do as our brothers in the carribean, have a spliff, and chill out.

America's Financial Influence

The reason so many countries accede to the demands of the American government in regards to cannabis legalization is simple.  Most of these countries owe money to the US.  The US government tells them they will demand immediate repayment if they do not follow american drug policies, then they threaten to cut off all the wonderful free money we give to so many third world countries, and they fold.  Sad really.
 

Jamaican One-Hitter Industry Initiative

1.  @Silver Fox -- yes, ease off blaming all US (300-mil. of us) -- and start blaming the $igarette oligopoly which controls US Federal Govt (and over 50% of "defense" budget worldwide) and fights to keep cannabis illegal worldwide because so many cannabis users are practical enough to substitute a Low Dosage-- thus Low Profit-- chillum, midwakh, kiseru, sebsi or other one-hitter, or a vaporizer, for the half-gram-at-a-shot "joint" or "blunt".  Now what if millions of poor pack-a-day puffsuckers, imitating this, deserted the 700-mg. fatal genocide hot burning overdose nicotine slave $igarette whence cometh the "Industry" profit margin and switched to a Dosage Conservative Utensil?  (Possibly 20% or more of all cannabis users worldwide have deserted hot burning THC-destroying paper but one source reports 94% of tobacco addicts are still on $igarettes, 5% (non-inhale) cigars, 1% (non-inhale) pipes.)

2.  For several reasons Jamaica should promote a domestic handworkerly industry creating narrow-crater one-hit chillums with a 20-inch/50-cm. flexible drawtube as mentioned on Wikipedia: "Chillum (smoking)".  They should be designed to permit 25-mg. single tokes and have a screen to prevent sifted herb particles being drawn down inside. 

a.  This will show that Jamaica, or its cannabis users, is/are SERIOUS about Dosage Management and prevention of "drug overdose" problems ever occurring with cannabis in Jamaica.  Thus respect will be gained, and moral leverage in the battle to dismantle the pro-slave-tobacco policy of the U.S.Govt. and its "allies" (example: $igarette taxes pay 10% of total Pakistan Govt. budget). 

b.  Because supporters from everywhere, after studying on-line how-to diagrams, will flock to work in this industry, Jamaica will produce enough one-hitters to support a massive export campaign, utensil tourism and domestic prosperity.  Cannabis users worldwide will proudly buy "Jamaicamettes" (or can you think of a better name); and serious governments (China this week passed a stern anti-smoking ordinance) will begin encouraging their $igarette addicts (over 300 million in China) to break any typical 700-mg. $igarette down into at least 28 Jamette "pinches", each a separate toke.. 

c. Thus Big 2WackGo will make so much less money worldwide it won't be able to bribe legislators anywhere to keep cannabis illegal any more.  (At that point, let's do what Lincoln would do, bail out Philip Morris, Reynolds etc., retrain tobacco workers at US/UN taxpayer courtesy and so forth.  They were innocent on grounds of insanity.)

Blessings of Jah Not Being Contraband

The Rasta saw my confusion, and myself despite it.  He saw the believer in One Love who had lost the light, and grieved for the messenger. This was an error, Jah say celebrate the messenger's life, for it still touches new ears and clears new eyes to see his almighty and eternal Truth.

Thank you mister Government, now honor creation and smile upon it's red eyed children.

One Love, some will even reach you mister government!

US out of everywhere! ... ?

USA and world needs to decide what role they want. US kicks other countries around, but when we're not there everyone's like "Where's the World Police Man? We've got insurgents."

So if you want our help, our tanks, our soldiers, our intel, our alliance... well, you gotta play by OUR rules. So decide, world, what do you want from your old friend the USA? Because we're more than ready to leave you to our own. We'll just extend the ol' border fence up the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.

Fortress America! Fcuk Yeah!

 

(And Fortress Europe! And Fortress Asia! Divide and conquer, make the world safe for corporations, governments are done with ruling nations.)

US out of everywhere! ... ?

USA and world needs to decide what role they want. US kicks other countries around, but when we're not there everyone's like "Where's the World Police Man? We've got insurgents."

So if you want our help, our tanks, our soldiers, our intel, our alliance... well, you gotta play by OUR rules. So decide, world, what do you want from your old friend the USA? Because we're more than ready to leave you to our own. We'll just extend the ol' border fence up the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.

Fortress America! Fcuk Yeah!

 

(And Fortress Europe! And Fortress Asia! Divide and conquer, make the world safe for corporations, governments are done with ruling nations.)

US out of........uh, what was i talking about?

ahmed there has clearly got his hands on some good s£1T

god bless america

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