Ah, Jamaica!

Jamaica Poised to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, Approve Medical and Religious Use, and Expunge Past Offenses

On Friday, Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Golding released a statement announcing government support for a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana use for religious, scientific and medical purposes.

“The objective is to provide a more enlightened approach to dealing with possession of small quantities and smoking, while still meeting the ends of justice,” Minister Golding said. “The proposed changes represent an approach which will ensure to the benefit of the persons concerned and the society as a whole, and reduce the burdens on the court system.”

Good step. I’m pretty sure just about all ganja use in Jamaica is religious. They practically worship the plant.

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19 Responses to Ah, Jamaica!

  1. claygooding says:

    I heard early in the 80’s that Jamaica was not a stoner vacation because even then they had narcs working the hotels and tourist sites trying to sell weed so patrols could run in and bust you both,,however you faced charges and never heard what happened to the narc/snitch.
    I will take a cruise to Jamaica when it is completely legalized,,or perhaps a flight if I can get Kirk to find me a deal.

    • Howard says:

      I went to a reggae festival in Jamaica in 1985. There were no issues with procuring ganja. Some of it was mediocre, some of it was sublime. My girlfriend and I did something a lot of tourists don’t do. We ventured inland. We visited a couple of “gardens” thanks to our hired driver. Let it be known that most of Jamaica was/is very poor. I hope the changing laws on that island provides a boost for the folks in the rural inland areas. They really need it.

  2. Common Science says:

    Yeah sorry I lost my excitement for Decriminalization when Reagan became president. Remember how long decrim worked for Alaska and Oregon. There’s always the next term of authoritarians/politicians tugging at decrim’s arm saying, in their nuanced vernacular; “please don’t go!”

    “minors in possession and those with appearance of dependency will be referred to treatment programs”

    I wonder where on the scale between; having a loaded stash container in every room in the house, to just wearing a Peter Tosh T-shirt, that the treatment experts come into the picture.

    Legalize it!

    • Common Science says:

      But for a Friday, if this is the news story of the day on the front lines, it’s a pretty good one.

      Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

    • Duncan20903 says:


      What are you talking about CS? Oregon has been decriminalized for over 4 decades, and Alaska has never decriminalized. Ravin v State of Alaska only created a de facto decriminalization in private homes because of the Alaska State Constitution features a very strong right to privacy. That was added in 1972 by ballot initiative. The Alaska authorities have done just about everything they could think of to monkey wrench that de facto cannabis law reform. With the exception of trying to get that right to privacy repealed. They know that’s a non-starter but just can’t admit to themselves that without doing that they should just give up.

      Oh wait a second, are you aware that the Alaska Court of Appeals stuck down the re-criminalization law created by ballot initiative in 1990 because of Ravin is the controlling legal authority? That was in 2002. It was so cut and dried that the 1990 re-criminalization law was unconstitutional that the Alaska Supreme Court refused certiorari when the prohibitionist parasites appealed the ruling.

      In a similar fashion the Oregon State legislature re-criminalized petty possession of cannabis in 1997. That law was struck down on Election Day 1998 in a veto referendum by a margin of 2:1.

      In my little corner of the world less prohibition is better than more prohibition every day of the year. It’s taken over a century and a genuine mountain of propaganda to reach the current level of hysteria among the sycophants of prohibition. Sometimes I think I could entertain the notion that the sycophants are in fact brain washed. No, wait, my bad. It’s prerequisite to brainwashing people that the brainwashing targets actually have a brain in their heads to wash. [drumroll] [rimshot]

      • Common Science says:

        Duncan I am alluding to the fact that decriminalization was meant to be a means to an end, but if the policy sits in place without advancing further, reform foes can undo the work it took to evolve – as you have pointed out.

        The memo I have from NORML, December 1975, summarizes the success of Oregon’s pioneer decriminalization. Page 22 charts out the five other states that joined Oregon later that year – with Alaska imposing a $100.00 fine for possession of 1 oz. in public (any amount in private for personal use).

  3. Frank W. says:

    The minister sounds like Eric Holder speaking at the same time the DEA is raiding California dispensaries.
    Sorry but it’s Friday 13th and there’s a Prohibitionist Moon in the sky tonight…

  4. Irie says:

    Me ras and praise Jah!!! Now it will be a lot harder for the police to make money, see on an officer’s day off, it was so easy for any one of them,regardless of what providence he was from,to drive to any of the major tourist areas (Montego Bay.Ocho Rios, Negril, where I lived for a number of years,and where my husband and I still own a 4 bedroom house) and catch some innocent tourist who left the resort to experience “another side” of Jamaica, or maybe someone who is traveling off the beaten path of your usual tourist and is enjoying an innocent spliff with a local rasta. What the officer would do upon seeing a tourist (pretty easy to spot in a country where it is 98 percent African heritage) is he would go up to the unsuspecting traveler, flash his badge, tell him/her that he is working undercover and they are partaking in an illegal activity of an controlled substance. The off duty officer would then ‘lean heavy’ on scare tactics, indicating he would take him/her down to the police station, put them in a cell, they would then wait for their trial date, which could take up to three weeks or a whole month for them to go in front of a judge,OR they could just take care of this little ‘problem’ by giving the officer a couple of hundred dollars, in US currency, of course, and then all this would go away!

    Well, I ask you couchmates, what would you do? Take your chances in a third country jail/prison, just to be found guilty and expedited, after waiting a month in this uncomfortable/unfamiliar foreign environment, or pay up and get the flock out of the country?? I know what the answer is, and so does this off duty slimebag.

    Yes, this is a step in the right direction for Jamaica, it’s basically legal, the wording is just for technicalities, a way for the Jamaican government to maybe stay in good with the US, that’s all.

  5. Tony Aroma says:

    I read the entire statement and thought it sounded quite reasonable. If they really do what they say, then I think it’s a HUGE first step.

    However, as far as travel to the US goes, I believe a ticket for mj possession, even if no criminal record results from it, is enough to be denied entry to the US. Even just admitting you’ve ever smoked mj is enough to keep you out.

    • jean valjean says:

      yes indeed. check out nigella lawson refused entry to us for admitting she had used cocaine in the past. no conviction necessary

  6. Irie says:

    Edit not working, should say…. praise Jah, yes I will use it for my religious meditating, praise Jah Rasta Fari!

  7. Crut says:

    An affable security guard dressed in shorts and a T-shirt told me he likes working there. “I worked in a psych ward before, and this is a lot easier,” he said. Ever have trouble with customers? “The only problem we have here is people coming in drunk.”

    Got that? At the cannabis dispensary, the people you have to watch out for are the drinkers.

    Weed isn’t all that scary

  8. Tony Aroma says:

    OT, but SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

    Feds Warn Casinos to Turn Away Gamblers With Medical Marijuana Ties

    The feds never cease to amaze me with their crap:

    In order for a casino to knowingly accept a bet from someone in the marijuana industry, it would need to perform what Dowling described as a “criminal background check” and then file reports every 90 days to federal regulators on the gambler’s activities.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      There’s just got to be something in the water. These people are mad as hatters. Did Large Daddy Throckmorton finally get Harry J Littlefinger to do his job right? Oh wait, strike that, nobody licks postage stamps anymore.


      How Henry J. Littlefinger Licked The Hippies’ Scheme To Take Over The Country By Tossing Pot In Postage Stamp Glue:

      Hippie leader Large Daddy Throckmorton fatally entrusts wrong man with instigating the revolution. President Nixon inadvertently winds up stoned for months, but the war in ‘Nam continues regardless. Not improbable that Keefauver, like the hero, put away a few hash brownies as he wrote.

    • DonDig says:

      I guess our government representatives, (and I use that term loosely), have no idea of how stupid this looks, sounds and IS.

  9. No applause please, just throw money! says:


    Just how stupid is a prohibitionist?

    Prohibitionists are so stupid that they believe the endocannabinoid system is the DEA procedure for making cannabis extinct.
    Just how stupid is a prohibitionist?

    Prohibitionists are so stupid that they believe if you manufacture Butane Honey Oil (BHO) that there’s a chance that President Obama might go to your house and blow it up. Only a fully baked pothead would take that risk!

  10. Tony Aroma says:

    Also OT, but good news!

    New York Medical Marijuana Bill Re-Assigned; Could Pass Senate Next Week

    “The Savino bill will not come out of my committee, the Finance Committee,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco (R-D50) had said Tuesday, upsetting patients, parents and activists state-wide, who began flooding the Senators’ office with phone calls and social media posts urging DeFrancisco to re-consider.

    But when one of the state’s most powerful labor unions, the AFL-CIO, announced their support for the bill earlier this week, Senate leaders took the step to strip the bill from DeFrancisco’s committee and re-assigned it to the Rules Committee so that it could receive fair consideration.

  11. claygooding says:



    Iraq: Pentagon Sends Aircraft Carrier to Persian Gulf

    Iraq is chaos as the government battles with an Al Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has responded to the situation by ordering an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, to the Persian Gulf. It is supposed to arrive sometime tonight.

    The Defense Department explains in a press release that “the order will provide President Barack Obama additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq.”

    Translation: Big oil has spoken

  12. DdC says:

    Jamaica: Doctors Oppose Proposed Relaxation Of Ganja Laws
    The Medical Association of Jamaica ( MAJ ) has taken issue with the changes proposed by the government in relation to the possession and smoking of marijuana.

    The MAJ has warned that the relaxation of the laws will lead to more usage and consequently more mental problems among the population.

    US Jamaican Study 1974
    “Cannabis smoking does not lead directly to mental or physical deterioration… Those who have consumed marijuana for a period of years showed no mental or physical deterioration which may be attributed to the drug.”

    “… as a multipurpose plant, ganja is used medicinally, even by non-smokers. ….There were no indications of organic brain damage or chromosome damage among smokers and no significant clinical psychiatric, psychological or medical) differences between smokers and controls.” “No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style, and tests of memory”

    Dr. Andrew Weil (Rubin & Comitas Ganja in Jamaica, 1975)
    “a-motivation [is] a cause of heavy marijuana smoking rather than the reverse”

    Jamaican Study 1970:
    “This study indicates that there is little correlation between the use of ganja and crime, except insofar as the possession and cultivation of ganja are technically crimes”

    Scare Tactics On Pot in Florida

    Law allowing marijuana derivative for treatment of seizures remains unused
    …because of obstacles written into the legislation at the last minute.

    Uruguay: The Coolest Country on Earth

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