Jamaica announces details for proposed ganja laws

| 02/10/2014

(CNS): Jamaica’s justice minister has revealed more details of the proposed new ganja laws that will pave the way for the legal cultivation, possession, import and export, transportation, manufacture, sale, and distribution of ganja for medical and scientific purposes. With the liberalization of ganja use the Jamaican government is positioning the country to take advantage of the economic gains from the plant as its lawful consumption, especially as a medicine, takes off around the world. The production and sale of the drug will require a license and Mark Golding explained, Wednesday, that the terms of those licenses will now be determined.

"We need to now flesh out the specifics of the licence and framework to go hand-in-hand once the amendments have been approved and implemented,” he said.

A licensing authority is to be established to govern the processes for what is expected to be a significant industry for Jamaica. Golding also said that some revenue generated by the licensing of the ganja industry will be used to fund public education programmes directed at discouraging ganja use by adolescents and other vulnerable persons. The cash will also be used for drug-abuse support; funding scientific research into the medical and other specific uses of ganja; as well as for providing additional support for the implementation of a new regulatory regime.

"Our objective is to lay the foundations for the establishment of regulatory regimes to govern the cultivation and use of ganja for medical and scientific purposes as well as (non-medical) industrial hemp," he said.

Under the legislative changes taking place in Jamaica regarding ganja possession of two ounces or less is now a non-arrestable, ticketable infraction that does not result in a criminal record; possession for religious use is permitted as well as therapeutic purposes as prescribed by a medical practitioner, and scientific research conducted by accredited institutions.

“The medicinal potential of extracts from both ganja and hemp is also recognized as having great economic potential,” Golding said as he outlined the emerging new legislative landscape in the country.

“Jamaica is well positioned to be a forerunner in conducting research which will address the safety and efficacy issues related to extracts of medical cannabis. This research is fundamental to the development of new medicines and therapies derived from ganja and hemp.”

Meanwhile, Cayman’s legislators have remained opposed to any changes regarding the use of ganja for medical or any other purposes. The local draconian laws, where consumption and even minuscule amounts can lead to prosecution, have led to hundreds of Caymanians being saddled with criminal records because of past ganja convictions.


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  1. Anonyanmous says:
    A major study says cannabis can be as hard to give up as heroin, and can lead to depression 
    6h ago 
  2. Anonymous says:

    Since it will be legal over there. I would love to see all those people go move over there. I stay in my corner. You go over to yours. If you have to sedate yourself to enjoy life I would prefer people like you to go where the grass is greener. Pun intended. 


  3. Knot S Smart says:


    I swear that guy in the photo is a guy I had working in my yard (without a permit) some years back and one day the Immigration van stopped by my gate and my good worker evaporated in the bushes behind the house – and I never saw him again…

  4. Professor Herbie Dread says:

    If Benson & Hedges and other cigarette companies would have known the "euphoric" results of smoking ganga, we would not be having this debate. 

  5. Anonyanmous says:

    Oh happy day, when he washed my sins away…. what about the people who spent years in a Jamaican prison (Caymanian sent to Jamaica prior to Northward and Fairbanks) for a stick of weed and had their life ruined forever? now we want every pot head and closet pot head to come out in the open and light up, to this I say heck NO, de criminalise it but legalalise it NO!

  6. Walker says:

    Decriminalize to stop making users felons. Allow people to grow their own. Say 6 mature plants at a time. With a local supply it would not be very profitable for the canoes and would hit the drug pushers and gangsters. Free this plant.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I dont know about the rest of you but I can think about better ways to spend $60,000 other than to lock someone up in Northward for a year because they smoked a spliff. How many kids could we educate for example

  8. Anonymous says:

    There are possibly twice as much marijuana users on island than non-users.All the pro marijuana Caymanians and Expats need to get together and make this happen. Ranting on CNS wont get the results you want. The pros definitely out weigh the cons. The opposing public needs to be educated on the substance so that they can make educated decisions and statements rather than saying "Ganja messed up their son" when infact only God knows what kind of hard drugs they were on. When talking about the medicinal properties of Marijuana, It's a great opportunity for the economy of these islands especially when Health City Cayman Islands is one of the largest institutes of its kind in the region. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you allege >35,000 out of 55,000 Cayman Islands residents are marijuana users?  I don't quite think so.  I would doubt if it's even a fifth of that.  Still, this is not British Columbia and close to 100% of local supply originates from somewhere else.  Think about how much illicit supply has to arrive regularly to support what many seem to think is a benign peaceful demand-driven marine trade – in reality we know this brings other harder narcotics, guns, ammo, violent robbers, assassins, and who knows what else through our border to our shores.  These are not peace-loving hippies with flower petal necklaces, this is serious business with organized cartels, and killers.  Cayman's pot smokers are complicit figures in this criminal apparatus.  So, from this perspective, the prevailing attitude towards local ganja use and an open border IS ruining ALL OUR LIVES through its implicit endorsement of organized criminal activity.  I don't think 2/3 of us agree with that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first sentence explains a lot!

    • Anonymous says:

      A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Case in point.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good job Jamaica….and most of the rest of the civilized world.

    Cayman in general is still too hypocritical to de-criminalize marijuana. Choosing instead to bring the full force of the law against something that should not be illegal….while allowing rampant corruption and unaccountabilty to go mostly unchecked.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The vehicles plodding along at a mere 20mph, enjoying their spliff, in the 40mph zone of the bypass scare me more than those going 50mph, and it's because they are high-as-a-kite inebriated and don't have the reaction speed to respond to the changing landscape or unexpected traffic situations.  I don't want to drive my children to school sharing the road with any more pathetic wasted fools like this than we already have.  They are already an unpredictible menace on our streets – some of them piloting taxis and buses loaded with tourists.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You're right, the DRUNK DRIVERS are much more comforting. (sarcasm)

  11. Anonymous says:

    We do not need to leagalize.  We need to de-criminalize.  People who smoke weed are not criminals, at worst they are making poor health choices, which does not require the government to clog up the courts.  There are important matters in this country and people having a different alternative to alcohol, creating voilence sounds like a good option. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "People who smoke weed are not criminals"  <== actually, YOU ARE.  You are directly supporting the criminal apparatus of these islands.  It might even be worse than criminal for feeling righteous about your willful blindness towards your role in this industry.  Attitudes need to change if we are to take our crime and gang problems seriously.  We need to urgently close the marine border trade routes.   

    • Anonymous says:

      If you, at some point in your daily life, visit a DRUG DEALER to iniitiate a transaction, you are conducting a CRIMINAL ACT and fueling the dark criminal gang economy that plagues this country.  Users are active demand-side participants in this economy.  That makes you a criminal.  Ask any judge and they will agree. 

      • Anonymous says:

        15:56, that would make the church and church goers who sell raffle tickets criminals too, because gambling is illegal in Cayman. Ask any judge and they will agree.

      • Anonymous says:

        15:56, there will always be demand, its been that way since the beginning of time and always will be. And if there is demand, there will be supply you donkey.

        Who supplies it can make the difference.

        Do some effing research. Perhaps start with the word "Amsterdam".

      • Anonymous says:


        Its a criminal act for women to drive in Saudi Arabia.  However, people who can think for themselves know its a dumb law.

        • Anonymous says:

          @15:56, take that in ya pipe and smoke it. Shut you up quick.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think we can agree that the female driver in Saudi Arabia is not directly sponsoring a marine narcotics and weapons transshipment industry.  It's important to appreciate the regional impact of laisse faire border controls – it's not pretty, or benign – we are ALL paying the price.  

  12. son of the soil says:

    just what we need; everyone zoned out on weed all day…so lets just keep encouraging laziness…because all ganja heads are a bunch of lazy weed heads who just sit around all day smoking pot with no future ….what a disgrace this would be to our seafaring fathers/grandfathers and mothers/grandmothers who would turn in their graves if cayman went down this road…while we are at it, lets legalize gambling as well so we can smoke weed and gamble all day…. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If you only knew how many successful persons smoke weed. 

      • Anonymous says:

        …and by doing so, directly support the criminal economy – that must be very fulfilling for you.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Smoke weed?  What about the use of hard drugs?

    • Anonymous says:

      10:48, I smoke herb everyday, have a law degree, an accounting degree, a STEP certification and host of other accolades. I make a six figure salary too so i dont see how we are all lazy and do nothing but sit around all day .

      And in case you hadn't noticed, gambling is rampant in Cayman, just go to any church and buy a raffle ticket.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviouslty the weed has not taught any humility, because through this admission you are also a criminal, actively supporting drug transhipment, and directly sponsoring our gang-controlled dark economy.  Congratulations, you must be very proud of yourself.

        • Anonymous says:

          14:26, do you buy raffle tickets? If so then guess what, you are a criminal who supports gambling, thats illegal last time I checked. And the churches that sell them are suppoting an ilegal acitivity.

          My point was you moronthat there are those of us that are productive citizens. And thereare thoselike yourself that cast stones when you are worse than those you are condemning.

        • Anonymous says:

          And by the way, if legalized, he would not be a criminal and also anyone could grow it for themselves, no need to support gangs and other criminal rings. 

          But no, lets pretend that continuing to make cannabis illegal does not increase its price and fuel the black market for it and that the persecution of recreational consumers, that are otherwise good citizens, has no effect on society.

          Lets also pretend that every non-cannabis consuming citizen does not break any laws.  No, no one speeds, no talks on the phone while driving, everyone wears their seatbelts, comes to a complete stop at every stop sign and my all time favorite, everyone declares all of thier goods at customs.  If you have done one or any of those, you are also a criminal nuisance in the eyes of the law and a danger to society.

          Lets pretend that 99 percent of the breakins are not related to the perpertrators cocaine use. I doubt they are looking to pawn thier goods to buy weed.

          Please take the rafter out your own eye before trying to remove the straw from mine. 

          • Anonymous says:

            13:59 hit the nail on the head, READ IT FOLKS!

          • Anonymous says:

            If it were legal he/she would be a good little camper, but it isn't.  If it takes an arrest to convince you otherwise, then please carry on.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if the thumbs down people are suggesting you make enough money to buy cocaine? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, big chip on shoulder. Weed has messed with your brain.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you! It’s been suggested to me by an American pain specialist for my back but because it is (a natural herb/plant that you can use straight out of your garden no added chemicals to worry about causes some other internal problem “illegal by man’s law) I can’t use it here yet when I tried it in the states IT WORKED I could bend twist then some no pain this also with a current cracked rib only 3 weeks old. And with only 4 pulls off of it at that and that was the most peaceful sleep I’ve had in 2 years since the injury occurred But unfortunately I had to come home and now back on prescribed pain meds which are illegal to drive or operate machinery while taking so I’m faced with in during the pain while at work .


        • Anonymous says:

          @16:01, you are 100% right. But hunny this is Cayman, where they molest their own children at home and go to church on saturday and sunday and pretend to be "holy". Let's face it, this is a backward country with no hope of getting any better.

      • Anonymous says:

        You're more of a blow-hard than a lazy slacker

    • Anonymous says:

      You are naive to believe that ganga users are lazy, weed heads. Many professional, business people light up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah and every one who drinks alcohol of any kind are drunkards and abusers and do nothing but get drunk all day while dreaming up who to abuse next.  No, lets just use this to create yet another divide between our older and younger generations.

      I wish they had a cure for ignorance.


  13. Maiden Plum says:

    Come on Cayman!  Us next!  

  14. Anonymous says:

    As bigger gang is getting into the weed business and they are called Gov'Ment. They will easily crush all the competition..