Jamaica is on its way to adopting a more lenient pot policies. Earlier this week, the Jamaican government announced that it was seriously considering implementing some changes to the country’s marijuana laws, specifically decriminalizing possession of small amounts.
The announcement was made Thursday by Minister of Justice Mark Golding, who indicated that changes would be made to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act later this summer, which would make possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a civil infraction that would result in a fine rather than criminal prosecution.
"I wish to stress that the proposed changes to the law are not intended to promote or give a stamp of approval to the use of ganja for recreational purposes," said Golding. "The objective is to provide a more enlightened approach to dealing with possession of small quantities."
In addition, Golding said that possession of the weed would be decriminalized for religious, scientific and perhaps most importantly, medical use. "It is not only wrong but also foolhardy to continue with a law that makes it illegal to possess ganja and its derivatives for medicinal purposes," he said.
Those previously prosecuted for possession of marijuana many also catch a break. Golding spoke of plans to introduce legislation in the Jamaican Parliament that would eliminate the criminal records of those individuals convicted of being in possession of small amounts of marijuana -- a move, he says, would greatly benefit the well-being of the Jamaican youth.
"Too many of our young people have ended up with criminal convictions after being caught with a 'spliff,' something that has affected their ability to do things like get jobs and get visas to travel overseas," he said.
In the meantime, marijuana is still illegal in Jamaica, at least until the proposed amendments receive final approval from Parliament. With many of the legislators currently in support of more relaxed drug policies, there is a great deal of optimism that the laws are destined to change.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.