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Thanks in no small part to the famous musician Bob Marley, Jamaica is synonymous with marijuana in many people’s mind. Despite that cultural correlation, marijuana has been prohibited by law in Jamaica for a century. Marley’s cultural heritage is certainly impacting the proposed decriminalization, which will include specific protections for Rastafari using cannabis for religious purposes.
Jamaica’s Justice Minister, Mark Golding, announced Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, that there is a law in the works that will decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the religious use of marijuana by Rastafari. The law is intended to take effect by the end of 2014 and will also offer protection to those using marijuana medicinally.
Golding underscored that Jamaica will still prioritize keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and stopping those trafficking the drug illegally. There is broad support for the proposed decriminalization, as there has been in the past. Unlike in the past, however, there is little risk of the United States imposing trade or travel sanctions on Jamaica over decriminalization at this time, given the changing laws within its own borders.
Ladybud will continue to track this and other legalization and decriminalization efforts around the globe. Click here for more decriminalization stories.
Photo Credit: Klaus J. Kahle under (CC BY 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons