Rebel salutes weed exemption status

Rebel salutes weed exemption status

By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter

Saturday, December 19, 2015

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Rebel Salute has become the second entertainment event to be granted exemption status under the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The two-day reggae festival to be held at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann, from January 15 to 16 follows behind the recent staging of the Cannabis Cup in Negril which was the first to receive exemption since the decriminalisation of ganja in Jamaica.

Making the announcement at the launch of Rebel Salute at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday Justice Minister Mark Golding noted that the festival continues to live by the fundamental aspects of the Rastafari ‘livity’ which qualifies it for exemption.

"Under the legislative changes the use of marijuana as a sacrament allows for exempt status. I am, therefore, pleased to announce that Rebel Salute will be the first event for 2016 which will receive exemption based on the recommendation of an advisory committee which I have set up to look into such matters. Therefore, no one will be subject to prosecution as it relates to the possession of marijuana at the event."

The justice minister then presented event promoter Patrick ‘Tony Rebel’ Barrett with the instrument granting him the exemption.

In his response, Tony Rebel thanked the minister, and noted how pleased he was to preside over an event that is the second to be granted such a status. He added that this year Rebel Salute will be playing its part to inform patrons about what he called the "25,000 used for the herb".

"This year, we will have what we are calling the Herb Curb at the venue where we will accommodate recreational, medicinal and sacramental uses for ganja. We will also be staging various forums and seminars to further educate on how to use the weed," Tony Rebel disclosed.

The Herb Curb will be monitored by private security to ensure that those under 18 years old are not allowed entry. In order to enter this cordoned area, patrons will be asked to present valid government-issued identification

The event, which is now in it 23rd staging, will see a string of acts taking to the stage over the two days. The opening night has been designated Singer’s Paradise. Among the acts for this night are Mykal Rose, Sanchez, Luciano, LUST, Richie Spice, Christopher Martin, Chezidek Pluto Shervington and Ernie Smith and Tony Gregory. The final night is headed by dancehall deejay Mavado, who will be performing as his alter ego David Brooks. Other confirmed acts include Half Pint, Queen Ifrica, I-Octane, Andrew Tosh, Turbulance and Ken Boothe.


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