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G2K welcomes amendment to "Ganja Law"

G2K | 2015-04-15 00:00:00

Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, welcomes the announcement by the Ministry of Justice that the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act takes effect today, Wednesday April 15, 2015. The organization in release today hailed the amendment as progressive as this will see to the decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

G2K’s legal advisor, Mr. Alando Terrelonge said, “it must be noted that G2K has been calling for the amendment for some time now. It is a victory for social justice. For too long, we have criminalised what is largely a victimless crime. Too many Jamaicans, mostly young, black males, have been victimised and criminalised over the years by a law that has been oppressive and outdated.

According to Terrelonge, “the amendment to the law is significant as young men with small amounts of marijuana will no longer be arrested and carted off to prison until they are granted bail. They will no longer be fingerprinted and shackled by criminal records which make it impossible for them to get certain jobs, to travel overseas, to access the farm work programme, or to migrate when family members abroad file for them.” More importantly Terrelonge noted, “No more young Jamaican males will ever have to suffer the brutal and unfortunate fate of Mario Deane and Oshane Dothlyn, who died tragically while in police custody after being arrested for having marijuana in their possession.”

The organization further hailed the announcement as a victory for religious rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution as special provisions have been made for the Rastafarian community to use marijuana as a religious sacrament, and by individuals for their own private personal use. Additionally it noted that, “the persistent criminalising of marijuana over the years has retarded a viable industry for Jamaica’s economic growth and development. The amendments to our laws will no longer impede scientific research into the benefits of medicinal marijuana, and as a result, Jamaica now stands to gain immensely from decriminalising ganja.”

G2K is recommending a nationwide public education campaign to advise minors of the dangers of substance abuse, as well as to ensure that citizens understand the differences between decriminalisation and legalisation. The organisation further recommends that immediate steps be taken by the government to enact the necessary regulations to govern the granting of licenses for the development of lawful medical marijuana and industrial hemp industries.

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