Opposition says Tourism Minister missing out on 'Ganja Law' reform  

Monday, April 20, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Opposition spokesperson for tourism and cruise shipping, Shahine Robinson, says that there has been a “deafening silence and gross lack of preparation” of the tourism sector for potential benefits from the decriminalisation of ganja.

In a release today, Robinson accused Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, of inaction since Parliament passed the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act in February, giving the green light to decriminalisation and medical use of ganja.

According to her, the minister’s inaction is similar to “that of his serious failing to prepare the sector for Cuba’s opening up, despite repeated pleas for him to do so”.

Robinson noted that the reforms have the potential to bring significant value to Jamaica’s tourism industry, which has long been famous for ganja use by visitors. She said that McNeill is several months behind in preparing the industry to understand the changes, bring clarity to how the new regime will actually function and maximize benefits to the people of Jamaica and the economy.

She called on the minister to immediately pull together a small and efficient working group, inclusive of the health ministry, Customs and other critical stakeholders, to review and assess the amendments and put in place a programme of work aimed at enhancing the benefits to Jamaica.

“Delays in doing (so) may come to haunt us, as other Caribbean islands are now actively looking into reforming their laws,” Robinson said.

Balford Henry

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