Westmoreland ganja farmers petition PM

Monday, August 11, 2014

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THE Westmoreland Hemp & Ganja Farmers Association has published a petition requesting that Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller free the parish from the ganja laws in the form of an authoritative "non-enforcement declaration" from Cabinet, which will allow the association to grow and trade, within the parish, free from prosecution.

The petition, which was submitted by Triston Thompson, Paul Burke, Delano Seiveright and Fern and Charles Nesson, Harvard law professor, said the issuance of the prospective declaration of non-enforcement of ganja laws in Westmoreland would allow the association to "exemplify for all the parishes of Jamaica the responsible integration of cannabis culture into Jamaican society".

"Westmoreland has kept alive the cultivation of ganja despite harsh enforcement of unjust laws against it," read the petition which was obtained by the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

"Westmoreland claims the honour of leading Jamaica now in transition to an open and legal ganja economy," it stated.

To achieve this objective, the Westmoreland indigenous herb producers, in collaboration with the signatories of the petition, are proposing to host and participate in several events to be held in Negril, in May, 2015.

Among these events are an academic conference on legalisation strategies within Jamaica and amendment of the international drug conventions to exempt ganja from the schedule of dangerous drugs; a cultural festival including music performances, a film festival, and workshops relating to the cultivation and marketing of Westmoreland herb; and a Cannabis Cup competition to choose the finest of Westmoreland organic, sun grown ganja.

Westmoreland needs the cooperation of the government in the form of the authoritative non-enforcement declaration as well as to join with all whose imagination is fired by the prospect of offering events to take place in Westmoreland in May, the petition read.

"These events will bring a host of visitors and economic benefits to the parish, its farmers and its people at all levels. They will highlight Jamaica's potential to lead in the responsible cultivation and marketing of one of Jamaica's premier crops. The month of May in Westmoreland will showcase Jamaica's premier artisanal products and the extraordinary creative culture of Jamaica," the petition continued.




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