Jamaica’s new “Ganja Law” goes into effect April 15

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The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 which was passed by both Houses of Parliament in February will come into effect on April 15. A statement from the Ministry of Justice said that notification of the Governor General’s assent to the Act has been published in the official Gazette and that the Minister of Justice, Mark Golding will bring the legislation into operation tomorrow.

The Ministry of Justice said that the legislation is expected to have a number of positive implications for Jamaica, including strengthening respect for the rule of law and building a more just society, by eliminating a common cause of corrosive antagonism between the police and young men, particularly in less affluent communities.

It said the legislation would reduce the heavy burden of cases on the Resident Magistrates’ Courts and acknowledge the constitutional rights of the Rastafari community, who use ganja as a sacrament.

In addition, the government said the legislation paves the way for the emergence of a lawful, regulated legitimate medicinal and industrial marijuana industry that may have significant economic opportunities and benefits.

“This is a landmark piece of legislation, that is long overdue,” Golding said, adding “Jamaica is approaching these reforms in a responsible manner, and in keeping with our international obligations.

“The benefits of these reforms will be significant, and the possible negative implications will, for the first time, be mitigated by a public education campaign to discourage ganja use by adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups,” he added.

For original article, see http://www.caribbean360.com/news/jamaicas-new-ganja-law-goes-into-effect-april-15

Also see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Ganja-law-gazetted-

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