Pro-ganja lobby endorses changes on eve of Senate debate

By Balford Henry, Observer Senior Staff Reporter

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — As the Senate prepares to debate the new Bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act to relax laws on the use of ganja (cannabis) tomorrow, the initiative has been endorsed by supporters of the changes at a two-day investors summit which ended at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, today.
Speakers called on the Government to continue full speed ahead with the reforms, and disregard apparent threats from a United States Government official reported as cautioning the Jamaican Government against breaching international drug treaties to which it is a signatory.
“I have noted that already there is pushback from officials within the American Government,” said principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, who also chairs the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force (CCMRTF).
“They have started the pushback, which is what I expected, but I would urge Jamaican Government not be frightened but to stand firm,” McDonald stated.
“I firmly believe that there is an economic reason behind the treatment of ganja, and what you are seeing now, the American Government has resorted to taking these little baby steps and, I must tell you, very timid steps: You see the pushback and it is going to get greater,” McDonald explained.
“He is using very diplomatic language. He is saying that Colorado, Washington DC and so on can go ahead and legalise ganja, but Jamaica signed those treaties and therefore cannot do the same. What a ridiculous argument. I have never heard anything more ridiculous statement,” McDonald commented to the amusement of the pro-ganja attendees at the summit, titled the Cannabis Business and International Investors Conference.
He urged Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, AJ Nicholson, to consult with his Caricom partners to produce a position paper for changes to the international treaties, immediately.
The conference, which ended today was organised by the National Alliance for the Legalization of Ganja and supported by the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Task Force and the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association.




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