Marijuana may be as synonymous with the Caribbean paradise of Jamaica as reggae, pristine beaches and Jamaican bobsled teams but it’s still technically been considered an illegal substance all this time. That changes today now that the Jamaican government wants to amend its drug laws to make marijuana legal to purchase, sell and smoke for all of its citizens.
Jamaica’s Minister of Justice Mark Golding announced that the prime minster’s cabinet decided to amend the Dangerous Drug Act to remove marijuana as an illicit substance. The changes would allow citizens to possess certain amounts of the substance legally and use it in private settings for personal, medical and religious uses.
There are still fines related to the drug if police catch anyone smoking or possessing it in public but it will only be considered a “ticketable (sic) infraction” and will not require an arrest or jail time unless they don’t pay the fine. They’ve even decided to take decriminalization a step further by urging the nation’s parliament to pass a bill that would retroactively cancel the sentences and convictions of those who would have just received a ticket if they were caught with their “ganja” under the new law.
Of course, this is great news no matter where you stand on the marijuana issue. Sure, if you’re against decriminalization in any form, it might sound disturbing but it does alleviate police and drug task forces who are getting slammed with cases for small infractions that only serve to clog prisons with prisoners who shouldn’t be there in the first place. If you’re for decriminalization, you probably can’t remember why because you’re stoned all the time. So relax and smoke it up. Let’s hope the rest of the world gets on board to this promising trend.