Jamaica plans to decriminalise ganja this year

| 24/02/2014

(CNS): The leader of government business in Jamaica’s House of Representatives, Phillip Paulwell, has indicated that the decriminalisation of ganja is on the parliamentary agenda for the upcoming legislative year. Although Cayman’s neighbour is not legalising the recreational use of weed, unlike politicians here the legislators are talking about the issue and plan to move on medical uses. Having met with the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT), Paulwell has told them that the motion for the decriminalisation of small amounts of marijuana will be enacted sometime this year.

According to reports in The Gleaner, Paulwell said, "It is my view that decriminalisation of the weed will become a reality this year, arising from the parliamentary debate and the support by the majority of the members, I believe it will be approved this year."

Although he emphasised that ganja would not be legalised for recreational use, he said this did not stop the country from using it for medicinal or scientific purposes and it was within Jamaica's supreme rights to decriminalise marijuana.

"We are not speaking about legalisation; we are speaking about decriminalisation and I think it is in our remit and within our sovereignty, based on what is happening in the United States to do so in relation to decriminalisation," he said. "Legalisation is another matter." 

Delano Seiveright of the CCMRT said this was a major game change in the discourse on ganja law reform.

"We have seen where many places north and south of Jamaica have been relaxing their laws as they clearly see the tremendous advantages," he said. "Jamaica of all places should move to make changes sooner rather than later."

Meanwhile, here in Cayman local politicians have refused to even answer enquiries about their position on the issue and the health minister has made it clear that his ministry is not even discussing the matter, despite the growing body of evidence regarding the herb’s healing powers for a number of serious and life threatening conditions, from cancer to epilepsy. Cayman still has some of the most draconian laws in the west regarding the use of ganja, with people criminalised not just for possession but consumption as well. 

However, the strict legislation has done nothing to reduce the use of ganja in the community and in particular within the prison walls, where, despite claims of a crackdown, the drug is still used commonly by prisoners and where no prisoner appears to be given assistance over any drug dependency issues.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I did not realize that we had so many people in Cayman in support of ganja.There is nop wonder that we have lost it as it certainly makes one think differently and also makes them lazy and stupid.

    • Anonymous says:



      "Marijuana use impairs a person's ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics, and driving are also affected.

      Marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity. Short-term psychotic reactions to high concentrations of THC are distinct from longer-lasting, schizophrenia-like disorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerable individuals"

  2. Anonymous says:

    You will always have the older generation with their analog mentality. Their opinions about our future dont really matter. This might be a little harsh but half of them will not be around in the next 25 years. I say legalize it for medicinal purposes! I'm sure there are a lot young caymanians that their lives have been ruined by the prohibition of marjuana that could very well make a successful future in the this very fast growing industry. To all those sterotyping people out there, please do some proper research about Marijuana and stop using alcohol, prescription drugs and Cigarrettes before posing a comment on something you know nothing about! How can you educate people about marijuana being bad if you have not even tried it or can even speak about a first hand "bad" experience. All i ever hear is that you know of someone that something has happened to them because of using marijuana. THERE HAS BEEN NO RECORDED CASES OF ANY ILLNESSES OR DEATH DERIVED FROM THE USE OF MARIJUANA!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unless you count people killed by people driving high. Or family's ruined cuz a parent can't face reality…

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL!!! Parents have a lot more to worry about today than their teens smoking a marijuana joint. You even have parents addicted to prescription drugs and teens having pharm parties on the weekends while parents are out. Lets not forget the fact that they are exposed to harder drugs at school that are more easily accessed than marijuana. Lets not forget that  if  teens are curious they will experiment regardless of the outcome. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Have ANY robberies, thefts, assaults or "sick days" occured because someone has a liking to their self-prescribed "medicinal" ganja sticks?


        • Anonymous says:

          2 wrongs don't make a right, dude.

          If parents want to speed in cars, or sleep with other people, or overuse legally-prescribed drugs, that doesn't make it OK for youths to use a mind-altering drug.

          PS – there's no such thing as "Experimenting" when it comes to ganja, coke, cigarettes ro alcohol.

          I knwo many people who have just been "Experimenting" for the past 20 years, but who will say they are still "Not addicted".


      • Anonymous says:

        Can you provide ANY statistics of people killed in Cayman by drivers who were 'high' on weed?  Or ANY statistics at all of people killed directly or indirectly by weed? 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just what that country needs

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to this coming to cayman too. We are wasting so much police resources with this issue and it still isn’t working. True politicians move with the wave of best interest. And clearly the coppers need a break from this repetitive time, money and energy depleting situation. I hope one of our more sensible backbenchers brings this forward. This will be historic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Just visit the schools. Then you will see how many kids are sleeping with their little heads on the desks, as Police was to their house for Daddy searching for either ganja or guns. Then you can also visit their homes. NO FOOD for the family. Most of these ganja smokers are so poor and not able to suppoprt their familys. Then so many of them die from especially cancer. I say who want to illegally smoke themselves to hell let them do so but dont legalize it.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's the point, most users after legalisation do not smoke it, far safer methods become available,.

      As for police searches for ganga, they won't be needed if it legal then the little kid can get lots of sleep.

      Persoanlly I know more drunks who can't provide for their families, only for their drink, But that appears fine in your eyes, as it is legal


    • Anonymous says:

      "Most of these ganja smokers are so poor and not able to suppoprt their familys. Then so many of them die from especially cancer."

      Which toilette did you pull this out of? Please show evidence of one recorded case where marijuana has been the cause of cancer.

      Food for thought…. Crack is WACK!!


    • Anonymous says:

      soooooo ignorant , Iguess you belive in santa and the easter bunny as well ?

  6. Anonymous says:

    the governments could never prosecute weed in total so they now hve to decriminalise (legalise )it


    costed to much take ppl to court

    • Anonymous says:

      Decriminalise is not the same as legalise. A traffic offences are not criminalised.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Seems like most comentators so far may not have comprehended the full article. I suggest some folks re-read it and pay special atttention to the third paragraph.

  8. Whodatis says:

    Marijuana consumption should never be a criminal offense … anywhere in the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      absolutely agree, what right odes any democratic government have over my body and what i put in it, as long as it doesn't affect those around me.



  9. Foreign Devil says:

    Long live the weed.

  10. SeaGrapes says:

    Herb is already legal in the home of its many users right here in Cayman.  The day it will be legalized you will see very little change, except people will talk about it more openly without fear of stigma and discrimination.  Let's hope the Dinosaurs that run the government wake up soon!  Until then, I will continue to smoke the herb.  Peace to all sentinent beings.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I give CNS great big hand for having the B$$ls to write stories that everyone else on the island are too afraid for there image to write. We in cayman need to move forward with the world. Cayman needs to get away from this idea that " Pot ruins lives, so im going send you to jail and ruin your life" which so many ppl and politicatians have 

    Ps Colorado just made 185 million dollars from taxing weed, ost of which is going into the education system. Where is cayman on the caribbean education charts again ? 

    • Anonymous says:

      With pot legal, the education system is going to need all the help it can get. 

      • Anonymous says:

        except like drink it is illegal for under 18's to buy, so education system will be fine. those who smoke it do already when at school, heavy punishment has not stopped that, just totally ruined their lives with a record

        • Anonymous says:

          Sounds good on paper…. I'll bet the farm I'd don't work out so sweet

      • Anonymous says:

        Ha.  Do you see the quality of graduates the schools are spitting out? 90% kids of today are a total disgrace.  And they only have the parents to blame.  Not weed.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You will see a 50% drop in Cayman's population when all the Jamaians go back home to enjoy their favorite hobby without the fear of inprisonment.

    • Anonymous says:


      Who will worry about that t wll be the est thing for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      And a 40% drop in Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        That would just leave the 10% who go to Camana Bay. Can we please close the GT dump then?

    • Anonymous says:

      This will also lead to a 50% drop in the income Caymanians gain from propery rental!!! smarty pants

    • Anonymous says:

      You are rude. Whoever you are. I am Jamaican and never smoke weed. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cyman needs to follow suit, but actually get ahead. This would be the econmic boost thst the country deperatly needs. We would be the destination of the western hemisphere.  Come on Cayman lets do something right and ser the pace. One draw!!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I must commend CNS forholding the fire to thier feet.  Turn up the heat.  

    Where are the Progressives on this issue?  Hindering progress I bet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me while I light my spliff.

  16. Anonymous says:

    C'mon Cayman, wake up!!!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      What about the body of evidence that is out there about the dangers of using the drug, both personally and publicly.  I hope the Minister of Health never waste his time on discussing it.  All of you hat want to smoke it go right ahead – you know the consequences. I also hope Jamaica keep their smokers/users on their shores and do not allow them to wash up on ours.

      • SeaGrapes says:

        Small Question poster: Do you drink alcohol or use perscription medication?

        • Anonymous says:

          No I do not  drink alcohol and the prescription  drugs I take are well monitored by my physician .

          • Anonymous says:

            Monitored or not, it is stilldangerous

            Best give up fatty foods and slightly dangerous sports too

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe you could expound on the 'body of evidence about the dangers' of weed? 

        Perhaps, you could also shed some thought on the following statistic on drunk driving related deaths compared to deaths from weed? 

        "National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration FARS data 2013 that shows that 28 people in American die everyday as a result of drunk driving crashes."

        Or let's bring it closer to home…..

        How many alcohol related deaths have we had in the Cayman Islands compared to 'weed' related deaths?




        • Anonymous says:

          Since you ask please read this and pass it on to your marijuana smoking friends.  Short term effect of marijuana include, distorted perception, sight, sound, timing and touch. Problems with memory loss and corordination, trouble wit thinking  and problem solving'. Increase heart rate and reduced blood pressure. Using the drug produces anxiety, fear , distrust, hallucination  and panic,the active  ingredient in marijuana delta – 9 or  THC  acts acts on cannabinoid receptors and nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells and adversely affect the part of the brain that controls pleasure, thought and concentration.because of the high heart rate and low blood pressure users are four times more likely to have a  heart attack. Marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problem as tobacco smokers. Marijuana contains more carcinogenic hydro carbon than tobacco. So. If you and others think that Marianna is a safe drug you are very much mistaken.  You do no have to believe me do you own research I don't know about you but I am tired of seeing our young people who should be posiitively contributing to society walking around like zombies, begging and yes, stealing to satisfy their habit. How do you know that some of the deaths were not caused by having smoked too much  marijuana.  Once they are brought to court they usually admit that their crime is the result of  drugs, which I am sure includes marihuana. I don,'t know how anyone, of you can condone the smoking of marajuana – unless of course you all must be on it. After all it use does mess up  the thought process.  Who is going to ensure that if it is prescribed for medical purposes that it won't get into the wrong hands. We have enough problems on this little rock now and de-criminalizing marijuana would make it worse.  I pray it will never happen.  

          • Anonymous says:

            there are far better ways than smoking it and far less harmful, the fact you do not realise this shows you have not done research.

            Google the side effects of even tynelol, far worse

            Look at what effect high fat foods have on your health, so you must agree with banning all fast foods, butter etc.

            After all, with Marijuna illegal they are basically telling you they can control anything you put in your body.

            Should the state and policeless have right over your body.

            What next, banning suba diving or snorkling as that can be dangerous.

          • Anonymous says:

            I bet you pasted that right from the internet!  I find it very amusing that you are relying on untrustworthy and biased internet articles to indicate that marijuana is harmful.  Why don't you put a spliff in your mouth and try it for yourself?  It's not like you can overdose from it 🙂

          • Anonymous says:

            You must have been drunk while doing your research…… sound like you were decribing how alcohol makes u feel. Have you ever smoked weed?

          • Anonymous says:

            typed that in on google and got your answer and posted it here didnt you ?

            think for yourself dont let ppl think for you

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you think your data is skewed because drinking is legal and smoking weed is not?

          • Anonymous says:

            Why would the statistics be skewed?  It doesn't make a difference whether the drug that caused the death was legal or illegal.  Cause of death is cause of death. 

    • anonymously says:

      ahhhh  … from reality?