Justice minister announces ganja reform
Senator Mark Golding

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Justice Minister Mark Golding today announced that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 Bill will be tabled in Senate this Friday (January 23) following Monday's approval by Cabinet.

The intention is to debate the Bill on Friday, January 30.

Matters to be discussed include:

• Making the possession of two ounces or less non-arrestable but will carry a ticketable infraction that does not result in a criminal record;

• To allow the use of ganja for religious, medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes;

• Prohibit the smoking of ganja in public spaces;

• Provide for the grant of licenses to permit the development of a lawful industry for medical ganja and industrial hemp.

North Eastern St Elizabeth MP Raymond Pryce has since expressed strong support for the developments, which were announced this morning by Golding at Jamaica House.

Pryce described the move as the clearest sign yet of the Administration's intention to have established in Jamaica a legitimate ganja industry.

“The Human Rights issues are addressed, the research and medicinal opportunities are addressed, the enterprise potential has also been appropriately addressed in the Bill,” Pryce said.

"Key aspects include the proposed establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, the legislated removal of the attachment of a Criminal Record for simple possession while still ensuring that there is no confusion as to the Government's stance against the attempt to or actual exportation of illegal drugs and related criminal activities," he added.

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