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Very few issues are more topical and heated than this, the issue of marijuana in Jamaica. I'll provide you a bit of history but also share with you the current situation here.
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Updated! On April 15, 2015, The Ganja amendment law came into effect. Basically, after this day persons found with two ounces or less of marijuana will no longer be subject to arrest or detention by the police.
They will be issued instead with a ticket for $500 payable within a 30-day period at a revenue centre. Read more here
Also: Read/Download the 2015 Drugs Bill Here and the 2015 amendment fact sheet here.
New! Check out my 'Ganja in Jamaica Q&A!
Otherwise called Ganja, Marijuana was brought to Jamaica in the late 1800's by the indentured East Indian labourers. They were brought here to work on the plantations after slavery was ended.
Today, although it is illegal in the country, Marijuana's cultivation is still very much alive and well. In fact, from all indications, it is perhaps at an all time high.
Click Here to share in the hot discussion or Read Feedback from others like you here.
Every now and then we hear reports of "Kingfish", a special police unit, intercepting large shipments or destroying crops and seedlings. By the way, the Jamaican environment and climate is considered a perfect place for the plant to grow.
Now, contrary to popular belief, the use of marijuana in Jamaica is not unique to Rastafarians.
Before Rastafari began, ganja was used by herbalists in Jamaica as a medicine in teas. It was also mixed with tobacco for smoking.
Rastafarians considers Ganja the "wisdom weed" as its use helps one to gain wisdom. Rastafarians also use it as a part of a religious rite and as a means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self.
Rastafarians also say it was found growing at the grave of King Solomon in the Bible. More on religions in Jamaica.
Back in 2001, a government commission recommended that marijuana be legalized for personal use by adults -- A move, it was anticipated that the government would have endorsed despite opposition from the United States, which has spent millions to help eradicate the crop on the island. But today, we are still in limbo on that.
So, How strict are laws relative to use of Ganja in Jamaica today?
On a popular online forum, one of my fellow contributors asked the following question:
"I know ganja is illegal there too but according to Wikipedia it's often unenforced. Is this true or not?".
This was my answer:
"You don't want to be caught with it. You are liable to be jailed. True, the police are a lot more lenient these days if you have a only a 'spliff', but I would suggest you not have them use their discretion. I guess police can't venture everywhere, every time, so you will have some room to really "light up".
And by the way, the rastas, who are advocating it to be legal, do smoke it like crazy here! but they will not do it around the lawman. The rest of us don't really mind it."
Click Here to see the top questions and answers we posted about the use of ganja in Jamaica.
Another contributor wrote:
"I was just in Jamaica in January... We didn't see too much law enforcement around anywhere. However, we were warned that if you do get nipped for purchasing or possessing marijuana then it won't be pretty. Imprisonment is the penalty for possession.
Jamaica is probably the last place where I would want to spend time in jail. The Frommer's guide to Jamaica says that you don't want to experience first had Jamaica's penal system!"
"People were not smoking all around us. We were approached a few times to purchase marijuana but it was subtle. Definitely no bus drivers pulling over to smoke a joint.
But that may also depend on where you are going and where you are staying too. We stayed at the Sandals resort and they have a pretty big reputation to uphold."
So again, the question, Do you personally think Marijuana should be legal in Jamaica? Share your views here!
New! The government of Jamaica formed the Cannabis Licensing Authority to regulate the legal use of marijuana in Jamaica, you can read more about it here.
Make sure you don't miss these other informative related pages .
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What's YOUR take?
There are several views. What if it is? What if not? Will it make any difference? How would Jamaica be impacted?
Click below to see contributions from other visitors like yourself...
Why was Marijuana made illegal in the first place?
Why was Marijuana made illegal in the first place in Jamaica? For a very long time ...up to forty years ago the benefits of marijuana has been known, …
Jamaican Domestic Industry Breakthrough Opportunity: CHOOMETTE
This controversy is drawing attention to a Rastafarian invention, the chillum with long flexible drawtube (or hookah-hose) which (a) makes it easier to …
Marijuana Benefits - I give due diligence to marijuana
I am an insulin dependent diabetic of 34 years & in perfect health...I give due diligence to marijuana. I have no circulatory problems, no kidney …
Marijuana should be legal
At 55 years, above middle class business owner, I think that the whole legal or not legal deal on weed is much overstated. I believe that Weed should be …
Embracing the HERB not the SO CALL"drug"
As a girl growing up in Jamaica I remember days my granny would make me ganja tea to take away my coughs, fever and ear infections. I can't say if …
The Big Tree (Marijuana)
The tree of the marijuana has been brought by JAH, the almighty. He told us here is the green grass for you to prosper. I'm French, but this is what …
Marijuana should definitely be legal in Jamaica
I think that 'the herb' should definitely be legal, taking in account that it is controlled by the people that use it and the community. I am …
The Good and Bad of Marijuana
In my personal opinion I don't believe that marijuana should be legalized. Reason being it is not being used for the right purposes by those who use it. …
Don't Legalise Marijuana In Jamaica!
The use of marijuana in Jamaica is widespread. From youths trying to be in on the crowd, to Rastas who claim they use it for religious purposes. However, …
Marijuana was legal once, why not again? Not rated yet
I read they associated marijuanna with the mexicans which were treated like lower class citizens. That's why the higher ups didn't want it legal. They …
Marijuana has many medicinal uses, legalize it... Not rated yet
The medical association is finding more uses for it all the time. Yes it should be legalized. Many people travel, and do need it for medicinal purposes, …
Weed should have been legalized already Not rated yet
I believe it should be legalized in the states.So yes i believe it should already have been legalized in jamaika. I dont believe it would make much …
Ganja Should Definately Be legal Not rated yet
OF COURSE MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL IN JAMAICA, is that a rhetorical question? It is the perfect place to grow it. The weather is perfect for marijuana …
Of Course, Marijuana should be legalized!!! Not rated yet
I never took drugs of any form in my life, marijuana included. But I think it should be legalized for personal use by adults. It's not any more harmful …
Yes, Marijuana should be legal Not rated yet
I believe that the Rastafarians should be able to smoke as they want. They believe that it is should be a part of religion and every day life. They …
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