Jamaica decriminalizes marijuana use- Rastafarians celebrate! + video


Jamaica decriminalizes marijuana use- Rastafarians celebrate!

News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. Feb. 26, 2015: Members of the Rastafarian community across Jamaica can now burn “their herb” without fear of being arrested by the Jamaican police.

A new law passed through the country’s parliament decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana for religious, medicinal and therapeutic purposes, a move that will no doubt ease decades of tension between the government and especially the Rastafari community.

Many took to Twitter to celebrate, calling it a “special day for all Rastafarians in Jamaica.

Legislators, however, stressed that there would be no “free-for-all in the growing, transporting, dealing or exporting of ganja.”

“[The law] eliminates an unnecessary source of friction between police and citizens, and ensures that our young people are not gratuitously shackled with criminal records,” said the country’s minister of national security Peter Bunting said on the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill which he piloted in the House. ”This progressive legislation also begins to correct the victimisation of our Rastafarian brethren which started in colonial times and continued after independence.”

The Bill was passed with five amendments in the Senate on February 6, piloted by Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding, under intense scrutiny from the Opposition, during a seven-hour debate. It then moved to the House of Representatives where the 2015 amendments were passed in the House of Representatives on Feb. 24th after a marathon debate seeing more than 12 contributions from both sides of the aisle, among other things, establishes a legal and formal framework from which a legitimate Cannabis (Ganja) Industry may be developed in Jamaica.

Bunting  added that the law “begins to correct decades of criminalizing tens of thousands of Jamaicans, mostly poor young black males, for possession of a little ‘spliff,’” a term for a joint prepared with cannabis and tobacco. The change means Jamaicans will be able to cultivate up to five marijuana plants on a single premises without facing arrest.Being caught in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana will become a petty offence that no longer results in a criminal record.

Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will also be able to apply for permits allowing them to buy small amounts of Jamaican pot. Jamaica joins a growing number of countries around the world, including in Latin America, that have  moved towards decriminalization but is the first Caribbean nation to do so. Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have all decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot. Guatemala has proposed legalizing the drug while Chile and Costa Rica have considered allowing medical marijuana use.

Peter Tosh – Legalize It- music video -1979

Legalize It!! (c)1979 Virgin Records –  Lyrics

Legalize it – don’t criticize it
Legalize it and i will advertise it

Some call it tampee
Some call it the weed
Some call it Marijuana
Some of them call it Ganja

Legalize it – don’t criticize it
Legalize it and i will advertise it

Singer smoke it
And players of instruments too
Legalize it, yeah, yeah
That’s the best thing you can do
Doctors smoke it
Nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it
Even the lawyers too

Legalize it – don’t criticize it
Legalize it and i will advertise it

It’s good for the flu
It’s good for asthma
Good for tuberculosis
Even umara composis

Legalize it – don’t criticize it
Legalize it and i will advertise it

Bird eat it
And they leave it
Fowls eat it
Goats love to play with it

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  • Thinker  On 02/28/2015 at 6:43 am

    Nothing now prevents the Jamaican government from reccognising Rastafarianism as a religion.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 02/28/2015 at 1:39 pm

    The Real Reason Many Oppose Legalized Pot in the USA?

    It has nothing to do with ethics or morality. Nope, there are other reasons you may not have considered. I take no formal position on the virtues of legalization of marijuana; but I think your eyes will be opened when you see the real reason many oppose it:

    1. Big Pharmaceutical companies
    2. Corrections America – private-prison operators
    3. Beer and Alcohol Beverage Companies and Distributors
    4. Police unions against legalization

    a. Big Pharma is arguing that ganja should remain prohibido, because it would replace Advil, Aspirin to Vicodin.
    b. Private Prisons are arguing that relaxing drug enforcement would adversely affect demand for the facilities.
    c. The “no campaign” is funded in a major way by alcohol companies and distributors.
    d. Police organizations are dependent on Federal Drug War Grants to fund their multi-million-dollar budgets. Check out their equipment, lately ….

  • Ron. Persaud  On 02/28/2015 at 3:28 pm

    An incident is branded on my memory.
    A management company once required all of us (employees) to take a drug test.
    Four of six employees ‘disappeared’.
    Later I caught Libby clearing out her locker.
    “Libby, how could you?” I asked.
    “Forget it, Ron. You do beer; it is legal. I do marijuana; it is not.”
    And to this day I cannot think up a conclusive and convincing answer.

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