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Legalizing Marijuana In Jamaica

Updated on November 7, 2014
Marijuana plants in a field
Marijuana plants in a field | Source
Marijuana seeds
Marijuana seeds | Source

Finally, the Jamaican government is making the move to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana. In a time when other countries are moving to make strides in the production of medicinal marijuana and hemp by-products, a country which reportedly boasts one of the highest grades of marijuana has been constantly destroying illegal ganja/marijuana fields.

The Fine Didn't Fit The Crime

It is important to note, however, that aside from the financial fall-out of a country grappling to pass IMF tests, youths and young adults have previously had a criminal conviction against their names for a ganja cigarette which attracts a fine of J$100/<US$1 in the courts.

Likewise, it is years before these youngsters are eligible to have their records expunged; an obvious hindrance in applying for employment or overseas visa eligibility. This further burdens the economy as these youths are left virtually unemployable and ultimately become welfare recipients or even criminals by virtue of being idle hands.

Welcomed By Rastafarian Community

The move to decriminalize marijuana is also being welcomed by the Rastafarian community which uses the substance in their religious rituals. This unique group of people also has a strong root in the Jamaican culture and the movement is intrinsically linked to the country’s reggae music and by extension, the Legendary Bob Marley. Bob Marley also smoked marijuana as part of his Rastafarian ritual.

Beneficial Move

With the earning potential of marijuana production in response to the world market, a developing country such as Jamaica only stands to gain from this move of decriminalization, with the debate for legalization in the future being expected to be put in high gear. This can only stand to benefit a country with high debts and would only require the tightening of the borders to reduce the illicit drug for gun trades.

Symbiotic Relationship Needed On Border Control

As far as the drugs for guns trade is concerned, countries like America can also assist in tightening their borders to ensure that guns made in these countries do not illegally leave their shores. This is especially needed for neighbouring Caribbean countries like Jamaica where illegal gun possession and gun crimes have seen a sharp increase over the years.

Conflict Remains

If marijuana is legalized, more jobs will also be produced to keep youths from being involved in illegality and those already involved in the trade can become regularized. However, it is still early days yet as there has been no legalisation for growing the weed. This means that while you will only be ticketed if found in possession of marijuana within the permitted small quantity, growers and sellers will still be breaking the law.

Hypocrisy In Legalisation

It is highly suspected that most of the reservation for legalization of marijuana is coming from external pressure. In a time when other countries are making strides, however, it would almost seem hypocritical to allow the stance of illegality to hold, in a country with some of the most potent marijuana in the world.

It Is Necessary To Know The Benefits When Used Correctly

Marijuana plants
Marijuana plants | Source

Your Views On Marijuana Legalization

Do You Support Marijuana Legalization For Medicinal, Religious And Recreational Purposes?

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    • Keisha Hunter profile image

      Keisha Hunter 3 years ago from Paradise and then some

      Thanks hun, working in the legal field and seeing youngsters who are by no means criminals or hard drug abusers have their lives halted for a drug conviction for a cigarette is just heart-rending.

    • Maria Antonia profile image

      Antoinette Lee Toscano 3 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Keisha, voted up and interesting. You make some good arguments as to why it makes no sense to continue to criminalize the responsible recreational, spiritual-ritual, and medical use of cannabis. I saw a friend's mother go from being a drooling, wheelchair bound, zombie on 10 medications for multiple sclerosis to a vibrant, 60-year old, wheelchair free, woman when she was able to ditch most of her medication for medical marijuana when it was legalized in Maryland. That's when I became pro-legalization. I'm also concerned about young people in the US receiving conviction records for the personal use of marijuana. Good Hub!