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West Indies: Jamaica, Formerly Opposed To Marijuana, Now Wants To Cash In On It

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Jamaica has long been considered the land of ganja, but has worked hard to fight that reputation.

Despite strict drug laws and spending millions on public education to diminish its image as a pot mecca, its role as a major supplier of illegal weed to the United States and its international image led by the likes of Bob Marley have been impossible to overcome.

After watching states like Colorado and California generate billions of dollars from marijuana, Jamaica has decided to accept the plant and is looking to promote "wellness tourism", having legalized medical marijuana. The nation also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of pot just last year.

A recent conference at a luxury hotel in Montego Bay attracted government leaders, Rastafarian leaders, business leaders, and pot farmers.

Rastafarian leader First Man kicked off the conference with a speech on the global benefits of marijuana.

“We are talking about a plant that bridges the gap between all of our relationships,” First Man, barefoot with a Rasta scarf around his neck, said to a packed room. “Our planet needs this relationship to happen.”

First Man was speaking at the first CanEx conference, a gathering of government and local leaders trying to figure out just how the country can most effectively make this turn-around, without neglecting international law.

New Jersey: Son of Musician Peter Tosh Launches Fundraising Campaign to Battle Marijuana Charges

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Charged In New Jersey For Posession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana, Peter Tosh's son Jawara McIntosh Faces 10-20 Years In Jail If Convicted

Jawara “Tosh1” McIntosh, son of the, legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh, is fighting what he believes is a grave injustice for the possession of marijuana. As a Rastafarian, McIntosh argues, “I was raised in the tradition of Rastafari, which is not simply a religion but a way of life. And in the Rastafarian tradition, herb, also known as cannabis, is a sacrament we use freely for spiritual purposes. Besides the fact that the use of this sacred plant should be protected by the Constitution, it is utterly ridiculous that a plant could ever be classified as a drug.”

Legal fees and debt from the sizable bail are mounting. In response, Tosh1 and the Peter Tosh Estate have launched an Indiegogo Crowdfunding account to help McIntosh fight the charges. The account is now live at: www.indiego.com. The decriminalization of cannabis has become a hot topic in recent months, and will certainly be a campaign issue in the 2016 elections.

In fact, it is a widely held opinion among lawmakers that the criminal justice system should be reformed. Recently at the NAACP’s annual convention in Philadelphia, President Barack Obama cited the “long history of inequity in the criminal justice system in America,” and argued that the system was “particularly skewed by race and wealth.”

Global: Bunny Wailer Criticizes Marley Estate On Commercial Marijuana Deal

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Bob Marley's former bandmate, Bunny Wailer, has publicly criticized a deal between the Marley estate and the Seattle-based international marijuana company Privateer Holdings. Wailer, who has long advocated for cannabis legalization, said the business venture isn't a good idea.

"The Marley Natural deal must be publicly opposed," Wailer said, reports Shereita Grizzle at the The Gleaner. Not only does the deal have serious implications for future efforts by Jamaica to capitalize on the benefits of marijuana legalization, but it also highlights the selfishness of the Marley estate, according to Wailer.

Wailer agreed with those who say that Bob Marley shouldn't be used as the face of the first global cannabis brand. "The people are correct," Wailer said, adding that the global cannabis brand should incorporate The Wailers as a whole.

"The ganja issue can only be dealt with as The Wailers collectively, and what the Marley estate has done since Robert Marley's death is to wipe away the collective works, catalogue, image and rights of The Wailers from public existence," Wailer said.

"The Marley Natural brand has now spotlighted their (the Marley family's) selfish behavior," Wailer said, adding that himself and the late Peter Tosh are probably more deserving that Marley himself to be the face of the cannabis brand, given their greater involvement with the issue.

Bermuda: New Study Shows Gordon Right, Government Wrong On Medical Marijuana

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OBA Error Makes Pain Patients Suffer Delayed Relief

Just weeks after Attorney General Trevor Moniz announced that Marinol (synthetic pure THC pills), and not herbal cannabis, would be allowed for medicinal use in Bermuda, a new Harvard study has confirmed the complaints of activist Alan Gordon -- Marinol simply does not work as well as real inhaled cannabis for pain management, because the former takes 60-90 minutes to reach peak effect, whereas real cannabis effects are achieved much more quickly.

Gordon said this allows patients not to overdose on herbal cannabis, whereas Marinol overdoses are common.

The activist, who has dogged the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) incessantly on the cannabis issue, feels that due to a cultural war between government and Rastafarian ideals, government has gone to great lengths to ignore his perspectives at any length, even if that means the OBA is running roughshod over scientific facts and punishing patients.

“Patients have known for decades that Marinol doesn’t dissolve properly, and other studies have shown the same thing, over and over again since the 1990s,” said Gordon from Rhode Island early Monday morning, where he is lawfully assisting cancer patients grow their own medicine.

Bermuda: Activist Says 'We've Won,' Claims Cannabis Now Fully Legal

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Activist Alan Gordon Claims Deliberate Crown Non-Intervention in Known Large Religious/Medical Grow Operation Sets “Unacceptable and Unconstitutional” Precedent Which Tramples Others’ Racial and Religious Rights

Cannabis activist Alan Gordon of Bermuda told Hemp News on Monday that an unconstitutional double standard has occurred, in that the Crown is prosecuting Black Rastafarian and atheist cannabis defendants, despite turning a deliberately blind eye to a Gordon’s own Hebrew religious large-scale cultivation and Christian medical-religious distribution of the plant.

Gordon said that in a medical/religious context, he cultivated more than 80 plants this year, approximating 10 pounds of finished cannabis, and distributed it with the Bermuda Police Services’ full prior knowledge. Gordon provided corroborating correspondence, and said the Public Safety Ministry was also told ahead of time -- and yet no apparent action was taken by either agency to effectively stop the cultivation and distribution of the cannabis before it found its way into the community.

“When the Ministry and Police opted not to interfere with my attempt to make Hebrew Biblical medicinal anointing oil (from the recipe in Exodus 30:23) this past grow season, they did so because they assumed Parliament would bring reform so quickly that dealing with it was not worth the trouble and expense,” said Gordon. “But how is prosecuting Black Rastafarians in the public interest, if prosecuting me isn’t?”

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