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Beauty and The Beast

Updated on January 21, 2016

Legalize it!

Marijuana, ganja, A spliff, weed, censemena, cannabis are all a part of the long list of names that Jamaicans have for this green herb. A common stigma attached to the Jamaican people; we are well known for having this green herb in abundance. And really, I can’t fully blame anyone for thinking like this because ganja or marijuana is quite popular in Jamaica; from the young High Schoolers hiding behind the wall of the principal’s office to the old vagabonds on the street who’ve all succumbed to the true power of the unprecedented herb. I find myself ashamed to even say that our police officers are sometimes seen wrapping and rolling the little piece of white paper with the Ganja neatly cupped inside, ready to be lit up. So yes, Ganja is popular in Jamaica. But that doesn’t mean that everyone smokes or agrees with its existence in the island. A lot of persons are avid fighters against the infectious herb; institutionally or individually. In fact I’ll give you an interesting piece of fact that most foreigners generally have no clue about; GANJA IS ILLEGAL IN JAMAICA! The reason why I say this is because I had a foreign exchange student who came to my college and he was like many of our visitors who had no idea that Ganja is very illegal in Jamaica. Even to this day he has a problem accepting that. And so, there continues to be heavy debates in the island about this topic; from the focus groups congregating in an ordinary taxi setting, to the government locked in parliament having heated discussions. This should be the chief purpose of this hub; to discuss whether or not Ganja should be legalized in Jamaica in any context.

Bunny Wailer

                                                                            Jamaica's singer legend Bunny Wailer Source:
Jamaica's singer legend Bunny Wailer Source:

Blowing a weird whislte

Ever since the state of Colorado legalized ganja for medical purposes in 2012, some Jamaicans and parliamentarians have been in a sense of disarray. In fact I have to chuckle at the thought, because I’m not sure at all that Colorado realized how astronomically confused this made a lot of persons in the island. Could you imagine how someone would feel if he/she had been fighting covertly for decades to ship marijuana illegal to different parts of the world (America especially). And then all of a sudden the international polices (USA) came out and said that it is legally in one of their states. Especially when we stop to think that America was the one fighting so hard against drug trafficking. And then again in Jamaica, we look at our decent law enforcers who continue try so hard to fight something that is as easy growing grass, but then all of a sudden the great USA we try to emulate consciously and sub-consciously says; ‘well it’s fine in Colorado for medicinal purposes.’ Discussions sparked unending throughout the entire island; the Rastafarians who have been cultivating marijuana irrepressibly in the nooks and crannies of concealed hills and bushes started crying foul, the basic ganja sales men were left flummoxed as to whether or not they can just fly up to Colorado and earn a quick buck from their fresh crops, our politicians started sprouting sweat; indecisive to their next move. It was madness all over. But it’s because of this why there were so many political debates about its benefits and disbenifts. In fact…YES….Marijuana is on the verge of actually being legalized, just because the USA did it first. But is this a good idea for Jamaica? Maybe the Long wait of many Rastafarians will finally be heard; like the singer Peter tosh who sang ‘Legalize it’; a hit song for the legalization of marijuana in 1976. But again I’m asking, is this a good idea??????

Ganja used in foods


You can actually buy from here!

Positives about the herb

Now obviously everyone globally should now that there are a plethora of benefits with Marijuana. And even then, marijuana still has a lot of undiscovered benefits, due to a lack of study.

Before I go any further I just want to make it perfectly clear that I do not smoke marijuana nor agree or disagree with its legalization. I just seek to stand as a mediator amidst the conundrum that the herb is causing in my country. However, back to the positives of marijuana.

I mentioned that there are a lot of understudied areas about the herb, but I should specify amongst what set of people. You see, the thing is that ganja may not be a popular research topic for men with degrees, but however the proclaimed Rastafarians won’t wait around for an academical piece of paper with scribbling’s on it. They have been researching and learning about it for decades. They can tell me or anyone else more about it than any scientists or researcher. In fact I encourage that if any organization or industry has taken it up on themselves to further unravel the mysteries of the herb, please contact the Jamaican Rastafarian community. In fact it’s because they know so much about it why they believe that they are best suited to cultivate, manufacture and distribute the herb around the world if it is legalized. But the government thinks otherwise, and then again this is another reason why debates are so heated on the topic. But enough of that, because there are so many benefits as it relates to ganja, I’d rather list them out for you as opposed to scribing them out.

Do you see anything you like here?

It can treat glaucoma
It can fight the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health
Can control epileptic seisures
Can reduce Dravet's syndrome
Can stop cancer from spreading (WoW!)
May decrease anxiety
Slows down Alzheimer's
Eases the pain of sclerosis
lesens side effects of hepatitis C
Treats inflammatory bowl disease
Relieves arthritis discomfort
Increases your body's metabolism
Improves the symptoms of lupus
Spikes brain activity (interesting)
Fights's Crohn's disease
Helps to fight tremors from parkinson's disease
Fights against PTSD
Protects the brain from strokes, concussions and trauma
Can eliminate nightmares (Mhhh i wonder..)
Soothes the effects of cemo
Most of these benefits came from here:

Should marijuana be legalized in Jamaica?

See results

So you see how and why this herb is considered a gold mine for the medical industries and generally anyone who wants at least to feel physiologically Amped up.

So far, I have given you benefits that were researched and documented, but I want to share one of them with you off my own experience.

We are all well and aware that marijuana or pot is something quite often used by college students. Right? Feel free to say yes if you want (LOL). I knew someone on campus who basically doesn’t study at all. Not like normal people anyway, but still tends to do very well on tests. What he does is to sit up in the middle of the night and inhale huge chunks of marijuana and quickly screen through pages of his books (while holding the puffs in his lungs) before going to an exam to score higher than the industrious brainiacs. I don’t know how far benefits can go, but could this thing be similar to the drug used in the movie ‘Limitless’ (A must watch!). However I beg to ask the question again is it still worth legalizing in Jamaica.


Problems with the herb

Now the problems with marijuana may not seem as bulky as the benefits. However, they are as present and probably even more socially moving than the pros of the weed. First of all nothing overdone can be beneficial for us as human beings. But you see the problem with marijuana is that it packs two main powerful punches that makes this difficult to avoid.

  1. It can easily lead to dependency. So we see that Its overwhelming benefits has a limit. You’re not allowed to use it too often or else you’ll get stuck.
  2. It can cause mental and emotional instability. Two of the greatest things that really keeps us human.

Now picture this- you’re taking something that can physiologically, mentally and emotionally improve your wellbeing but does the exact opposite of that if you do it too much; keeping in mind that you can get addicted easily. I don’t know but that can seem like a booby trap.

Should it be legalized?

  • This brings me to my final say. Should it in fact be legalized in the Island. Well let’s consider a few things that we haven’t looked at. That being the economical side of the debates. You see one of the popular inferences as to why the government is suddenly leaping to legalize the herb is that, many believe that it’s Jamaica’s chance to benefit monetarily from something that we’ve been informally practicing for so many years, and have probably mastered more than anywhere else in the world. In other words ganja is not just green but it’s also gold. But on the other side it could be said that the distribution of marijuana might not be so beneficial for the nation, especially when we’re taking so long to jump on to the wagon. . You see when something has a large demand but a small supply doesn’t the price go up? Well a few also believes that this is true. When marijuana is legalized there could be more suppliers than demands and even new emerging competitions. This could mean smaller prices and lesser incomes for those used to obtain a lot of cash from the black markets. So again should marijuana be legalized in Jamaica?
  • Then there’s the more prominent social issues. Obviously it must be said that if ganja is legalized then there’ll be at least some squabble of disarray in Jamaica’s societies. Especially with our youths who often hide behind corners to take a quick puff. They now will be legally permitted if deemed a Rastafarian to have a spliff. Oh that’s one more thing. The government will only allow those who proclaim themselves as Rastafarians to smoke marijuana freely. But how will they know? Is there a new device that can detect a real Rastafarian from a fake one or is everyone going to just turn a Rastafarian overnight? Too many of our young and older men have turned mentally illed vagabonds on our streets because of ganja. You can see them everyday downtown begging for money, but not for food but for food but for more ganja; how woeful is that? Won’t this occurrence increment if ganja is legalized? But then again there are the anti-critics who believe that legalizing ganja will reduce the abuse of the drug; banking on the thought that what the body has freely in abundance it will no longer crave for. But then I ask won’t this affect the economical demand? I don’t know folks. I’m just a messenger and can’t truly tell what will happen in the coming months or years after ganja is legalized. I can only hope for the best.

I’ll leave you all to decide. Please let me know what you all think.

Peter Tosh

Let me know what you think

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