jamaica observer

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Jamaica: Ganja Law Now In Effect; Up To 2 Ounces Marijuana Decriminalized

JamaicaGanjaOneLove[FuxArt.de]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Jamaica's governor general has given his assent to the so-called "Ganja Law," the bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, making possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a ticketable offense rather than an arrestable one.

Justice Minister Mark Golding made the disclosure yesterday, just over a month after the Jamaican House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the legislation now being called the Ganja Law, reports the Jamaica Observer.

"My understanding is that the GG has now assented to the Bill and the signed Bill is now on its way back to Parliament," Golding told ganja advocates who were anxious that the amendments become law as soon as possible.

The House passed the bill on February 24, and it was expected to be signed into law about a week later. Golding didn't say what caused the apparent delay in the Bill returning to Parliament from King's House.

During the 30-day wait, there was speculation among some marijuana advocates that Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, might have been having difficulties giving his assent to the amendments.

The Act is highlighted by a provision making possession of two ounces or less of ganja a ticketable offense. Other provisions could pave the way for establishment of a legal ganja industry that advocates believe could reduce poverty in Jamaica.

Jamaica Receives Warning On Marijuana Legalization From U.S. Government

WilliamRBrownfield

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With marijuana legalization gaining momentum in Jamaica, the United States federal government has indicated it is uncomfortable with the idea.

Such a move could increase the flow of ganja from Jamaica to the U.S., according to William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, reports Arlene Martin-Wilkins of the Jamaica Observer.

Brownfield was responding to a question about last Friday's tabling of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2015 in the Jamaican Senate, which would decriminalize marijuana for medical, religious, and personal uses. The possession of small amounts of ganja -- two ounces or less -- would become a non-arrestable offense.

"With or without the legalization of ganja, the decriminalization of ganja, the importation of ganja into the U.S. remains against the law and the issue then is how much impact will legalization or decriminalization have on that," Brownfield told reporters on Tuesday. "And, I can assure you that, from the U.S. side, we will continue to pursue maximum efforts to prevent any import in the United States and we will request and expect complete co-operation from law enforcement authorities of the Government of Jamaica in eliminating this sort of trafficking."

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