NCDA urges 'good ganja sense'Tuesday, April 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) has expressed concern about the challenges posed by the recreational use of marijuana and is calling on Jamaicans to continue to exercise “good ganja sense”.
In a statement marking today's “4-20” celebration of ganja across the globe, the NCDA said the decriminalisation of possession of small quantities of ganja should not be interpreted to mean that recreational use of the plant has no negative consequences.
“On the contrary, this is especially the case where this use involves adolescents and those most vulnerable to its harmful effects,” it said, as it cautioned against recreational use of the plant, especially among these groups.
The council noted that ganja has had tremendous social and cultural significance to Jamaica and Jamaicans, becoming an integral element of the country's folkways since its introduction to the island by Indian indentured servants and its adoption by emancipated Africans in the 19th century.
It further urged Jamaicans to build on and enhance folk knowledge of the plant by now embracing science-based approaches to its use. These include research activities that drive industrial and medical applications of the plant with spinoffs for commercial-scale farming, the council outlined.
In recent years there have been many promising studies on ganja, some of which have revealed that it contains a variety of compounds with potentially beneficial uses. These, however, must be explored within the context of rigorous scientific studies to determine potential benefits or harms, and provide the information necessary to maximise the former and minimise the latter, said the NCDA.
The NCDA said it is committed to helping to disseminate new research findings in this regard, and to help the country to make the most productive use of the plant.
This is one of the main objectives of the council's 'Good Ganja Sense' campaign, launched last month by State Minister of Health and Wellness, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn.
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