Showing posts with label Medical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medical. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Marijuana Has Been Decriminalized, Now What?

Historic, momentous and groundbreaking, these are some of the adjectives used to describe the move to decriminalize small quantities of marijuana. Marijuana is widely known as Ganja in Jamaica and the Caribbean, largely attributable to east Indian influences.

Marijuana plants. Source of image: Voice Chronicle

Senate Passes Ganja Law, this was an headline in a Jamaica Gleaner article on February 7, 2015. Following the aforementioned move in Jamaica's upper house, the lower house followed suit, by enacting the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act makes possession of two ounces of marijuana a ticket-able offense, without the fear of being apprehended. Moreover, individuals convicted of pass offences correlating to Ganja shall have their records expunged. A Jamaica Observer article entitled Ganja Law Gets Green Light made mention of further amendments:

Additionally, the bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places, and makes provisions for the granting of licences, permits and other authorizations to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.

Now What?

The amended Dangerous Act removes criminal punishment with possession of two ounces of ganja or less. However, trafficking of large quantities of ganja remains illegal. This was seemingly missed an individual, who went to a police station seeking directions, with in excess of 90 pounds of ganja in his possession. Is he naive or misinformed?

Additionally, importation of ganja into the US is prohibited. This was affirmed by assistant secretary of the bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs (INL), William R. Brownfield. Essentially, extensive export of ganja is not permitted.

However, opportunities exists to develop a nascent medical marijuana industry. Local scientist, Dr Henry Lowe, is poised to be a beneficiary of medical marijuana and hemp industries. Dr Lowe, through Medicanja limited, opines that Jamaica stands to accrue significant benefits from a US $ 2.5 billion industry. Additionally, Dr Lowe is seeking to launch an initial public offering (IPO), as expressed in an article entitled Lowe Launches Jamaica's First Medical Marijuana Company.  Medicanja IPO By Early 2015.

Many Jamaicans foresee an increase in tourist arrivals from recent amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act. Furthermore, ganja is being touted as a solution to Jamaica's economic problems. Though, this is an overly optimistic expectation. However, if managed properly, Jamaica should stand to attain numerous benefits by decriminalizing ganja.

Thanks for stopping by!


US official cautions Jamaica on ganja legalization, Jamaica Observer.

Ganja, Urban Dictionary