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  1. mark-golding

    Summary of Drugs & Democracy Activities, April - June 2015

    15 July 2015
    Article

    Drug law reform continues developing in the right direction in several Latin American and Caribbean countries. In Jamaica, for example, a law legalizing the cultivation and consumption of ganja for medicinal, religious and research purposes came into force, as well as the decriminalisation of possession for personal use.  Jamaica also spoke out at the UN Thematic Debate in New York. On May 7th, the minister addressed the UN High Level Thematic Debate on international drug policy, highlighting Jamaica’s perspectives on drug control policies and participating in a debate that encourages open and inclusive discussions. Amongst the outcomes Jamaica would like to see from UNGASS is “the establishment of an Expert Advisory Group to review the UN drug policy control architecture, its system-wide coherence, its treaty inconsistencies and its legal tension with cannabis regulations.”

  2. Jamaica hoping to be world leader in medical marijuana

    15 May 2015
    Other news

    The Government intends to make Jamaica a world leader on the medical uses of marijuana. Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said marijuana is one of the most researched herbs, and evidence is pointing to a number of medical benefits. "There is now convincing data and evidence to support beneficial effects in relation to glaucoma, epilepsy, eating disorders and several more conditions, especially those affecting the nervous system," Paulwell said while handing over a marijuana research licence to the University of Technology (UTech).

  3. Canadian company to tap into Jamaica for medicinal cannabis supply

    04 April 2015
    Other news

    A Canadian company is seeking to tap into the Jamaican market for the supply of dried marijuana to the medicinal marijuana industry in Canada.

  4. Farmers encouraged to make use of ganja opportunities

    18 March 2015
    Other news

    Small ganja farmers across the island are being encouraged to make use of the opportunities that will be available in the medicinal ganja industry.

  5. Lowe wants public sector cooperation on ganja

    28 February 2015
    Other news

    Executive Chairman of Medicanja, Dr Henry Lowe, is urging a spirit of cooperation between government ministries and agencies involved in the development of Jamaica's ganja industry, following the passage of the Decriminalisation Bill.

  6. Ganja law gets green light

    24 February 2015
    Other news

    The much anticipated amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act, often referred to as the ganja law, has been passed in the House of Representatives of Jamaica.

  7. Senate passes ganja law

    06 February 2015
    Other news

    The Senate debated for nearly five hours about the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015, which was later passed with five amendments.

  8. Ganja interests wary of internal business rivalry

    31 January 2015
    Other news

    Despite strong ministerial and legislative signals, segments of the marijuana lobby are unsure that sufficient protections will be afforded to the persons who currently supply the raw material. The challe

  9. Jamaica poised to relax cannabis laws

    22 January 2015
    Other news

    The cabinet has approved a bill that would decriminalise possession of small amounts of cannabis and pave the way for a legal medical marijuana industry in Jamaica.

  10. Law to be amended to facilitate medical ganja industry

    29 September 2014
    Other news

    The Government of Jamaica has drafted legislation to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act as it moves to establish medical ganja and industrial hemp industries, where the cultivation and other activities involved in the production and supply of the plants will be legal under a controlled regime. Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding emphasized that the objective is to lay the foundations for the establishment of regulatory regimes to govern the cultivation and use of ganja for medical and scientific purposes, as well as non-medical industrial hemp.

  11. Caricom creates commission to study legalization of medical marijuana

    02 July 2014
    Other news

    The Caribbean trade bloc Caricom has created a commission to study whether the region's roughly 15 million people should be allowed to use medical marijuana and how courts should handle possession of small amounts of the drug. Leaders said that the commission is expected to submit reports by Caricom's next summit, scheduled for February 2016. A recent preliminary report from Caricom found that decriminalizing medical marijuana could help boost the region's economy. (See also: Opposition says Jamaica does not need Caricom ganja comm)

  12. Ganja laws: The Government's case for reform

    14 June 2014
    Other news

    On June 2, Cabinet approved certain changes to the law relating to ganja. These relate to the possession of small quantities for personal use, the smoking of ganja in private places and the use of ganja for medical/medicinal purposes. Approval has been given also to a proposal for the decriminalisation of the use of ganja for religious purposes. The decriminalisation of ganja in Jamaica has been the subject of considerable study and recommendations over the years. A 1977 Joint Select Committee of Parliament which reviewed ganja use and legislation, stopped short of recommending its legalisation. (See also: Clear up inconsistencies in the proposed ganja reform)

  13. Cabinet approves proposal to decriminalise small amounts of ganja

    12 June 2014
    Other news

    The Jamaican government has approved proposed amendments to the law that will decriminalise the possession of small amounts of ganja. Justice Minister Mark Golding says the government will soon table a bill in Parliament that will seek to expunge the criminal records of persons convicted for possession of small amounts of ganja. Speaking at a Jamaica House press conference a short while ago, Golding said Cabinet has approved proposed changes to the Dangerous Drugs Act to make possession of up to two ounces (57 grams) or less a non-arrestable offence. (See also: Jamaica government announces major changes to drug laws)

  14. Ganja advocates demand gov't develops 12-point plan for the industry

    24 May 2014
    Other news

    At the first Cannabis Conference held at the University of the West Indies, stakeholders have called for the criminal records of persons convicted for smoking small amounts of ganja to be expunged and are calling for the laws to be amended to allow for the personal use of small amounts of ganja in private. But while they want ganja to be decriminalised for personal use by adults and for religious purposes, Government must maintain its ban on the smoking of all substances in public and must put in place safeguards and education programmes to reduce juvenile use and demand for ganja.

  15. Caribbean countries consider loosening marijuana laws

    28 March 2014
    Other news

    In Saint Vincent and across the Caribbean, marijuana is illegal, yet it is widely used, freely sold and openly puffed. It’s evidence of the shifting attitudes over pot. Now, for the first time, Caribbean leaders — much like a growing number of American and Latin American lawmakers — are considering loosening restrictions to control and capitalize on the popular crop.

  16. Caricom leaders to debate marijuana legalization

    07 March 2014
    Other news

    Researchers with a Caribbean trade bloc have found that decriminalizing marijuana and exploring its use for medicinal purposes could help boost the region's sluggish economy. Caricom leaders are expected to talk about the preliminary report in a two-day summit that begins Monday in the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

  17. Jamaica to decriminalise ganja by year end - gov't official

    22 February 2014
    Other news

    Jamaica is to decriminalise ganja by year end as the government moves to capitalise on the booming marijuana trade internationally, said Science and Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell. The minister confirmed that ganja will be decriminalised this year in keeping with parliamentary approval. Paulwell, late last year, had come out in full support of positive developments in ganja locally and internationally and said that "Jamaica will not be left behind" as interest and movements in ganja law reform and research and development grows rapidly. (See also: Ganja green light this year)

  18. Local medical marijuana firm to open next week

    30 November 2013
    Other news

    History is expected to be created next week when Jamaica's first medical marijuana company, which is intended to be instrumental in extracting the medicinal value from the addictive elements of ganja, comes into being. Internationally renowned Jamaican scientist Professor Henry Lowe, the brainchild behind the initiative, has high hopes for the use of medical marijuana in Jamaica.

  19. Gov't actively looking into reforming ganja law

    27 October 2013
    Other news

    Justice Minister Mark Golding has said consideration is being given to reforming the law relating to ganja in Jamaica to allow its use, but within certain parameters. Those boundaries include possession of marijuana for medical use, scientific research, religious purposes, and possession of small amounts of ganja (that is amounts of up to two ounces) for recreational use. It is also considering permitting the smoking of ganja in private places.