Jamaica’s first legal Cannabis plant
Jamaica planted it’s first legal marijuana plant today. It’s an idyllic Caribbean island that’s been long associated with da ‘erb, thanks to musicians such as reggae legend Bob Marley. It was planted on The University of the West Indies’ campus grounds.
The University of the West Indies has been authorized by the Jamaican government to cultivate and harvest marijuana for medical research, and more significantly to ‘set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry’.
A similar license will also be granted to Jamaica’s University of Technology.
The new development of Marijuana in Jamaica comes from the Dangerous Drugs Act (Amendment) 2015. The dangerous drugs act hopes to develop a medical marijuana industry in the country.
Jamaica’s Science Minister Philip Paulwell said the trial could pave the way for the ‘commercialization’ of Cannabis.
‘I want to know when you start to do the experimentation, and what is found in the plant’, he said
‘We have to start this way, so that we can set the stage for full commercialization’.
Recent law changes in Jamaica saw the partial decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana, and loosened medical marijuana restrictions.
Here are some points you should bear in mind regarding the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act.
- Possession of 2 ounces or less of ganja is no longer an offence for which one can be arrested, charged and tried in court, and it will not result in a criminal record.
- The police may issue a ticket to a person in possession of 2 ounces or less of ganja, similar to a traffic ticket, and the person would have 30 days to pay the sum of J$500 at any Tax Office.
- The ticket is called a “fixed penalty notice” in the DDA.
- It remains a criminal offence to be in possession of over 2 ounces of ganja, and offenders can be arrested, charged, tried in court and, if found guilty, sentenced to a fine or to imprisonment or both. The conviction would also be recorded on that person’s criminal record.
- Smoking of ganja in a public place or within five meters of a public place is prohibited in a manner similar to cigarettes.
- Adherents to the Rastafarian faith will also be permitted to smoke ganja for sacramental purposes in locations registered as places of Rastafarian worship.
- A person who is suffering from cancer or any other terminal or serious chronic illness may import medicine or a therapeutic product derived from or containing ganja.
- Each household is allowed to legally grow no more than five ganja plants on its premises. If there is more than one household on any premises, each household may grow five ganja plants.
- Persons 18 years or older who are adherents to the Rastafarian faith, or Rastafarian organisations, may apply for authorization to cultivate ganja for religious purposes as a sacrament in adherence to the Rastafarian faith.
- A Cannabis Licensing Authority is created by the DDA for the purpose of enabling a lawful, regulated industry in ganja for medical, therapeutic or scientific purposes, and in hemp, to be established in Jamaica.
The ability for Jamaica to do it’s own research on medical marijuana means that their studies will contribute to the greater effort of medical legalization. We can’t wait to see the test results and how they contribute to the larger legal cannabis initiative.