NCDA promises stronger messages to protect children after ganja decriminalisation

NCDA promises stronger messages to protect children after ganja decriminalisation

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Chairman of the National Council on Drug Abuse Dr Wendel Abel in an e-mail Wednesday pledged to strengthen the council's prevention messages to ensure that young people are protected, following the passage of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Tuesday.

"The Council will (also) continue its work to ensure that the law prohibiting the smoking of cigarrette and marijuana in public (spaces) is adhered to, and this we hope to achieve through public education and working with local communities," Dr Abel said.

After being passed with five amendments in the Senate on February 6, the Bill Tuesday afternoon passed in the House of Representatives.

OBSERVER ONLINE first broke the news of the decriminalisation of ganja late Tuesday and was today quoted by Agence France-Presse - a global news agency - in their own report on the issue.

The changes to the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill will make possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a non-arrestable, ticketable offence, that attracts no criminal record.

Where the person found in possession of a small quantity of ganja is a minor, or an adult who appears to be dependent on the substance, they are to be referred to the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) by the police officer issuing the ticket.

Additionally, the Bill prohibits the smoking of ganja in public places, and makes provisions for the granting of licences, permits and other authorisations to enable the establishment of a regulated industry for ganja for medical, scientific, and therapeutic uses.

It also provides for the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, which will be responsible for developing the regulations governing the medical marijuana industry.

See the Bill in full here, as taken from Houses of Parliament website on February 25, 2015.


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