Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jun 2005
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2005 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Miguel Lorne
Note: Miguel Lorne is an attorney-at-law and a Rastafarian.
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


THIS IS blatant hypocrisy. When I travel the world ... and I say
Jamaica, the next two words that come out is Rastafari and Bob Marley.
Yet in Jamaica we (Rastafarians) are told that you cannot be made
legitimate as long as you acknowledge the use of ganja.

The whole policy causes confusion from the police angle and from the
court angle. Many times when we as Rastafarians are keeping our
Nyahbingi sessions, where in some instances we are celebrating events
. we usually write to the police ... When we write telling them that
we will be keeping our events, we get this strong support of the
police and that strong support usually means that there is an
understanding, not that ganja won't be used. It will be used but that
there will be no arrest or intimidation for the use of ganja.

It causes confusion with the police. The courts now also have a
problem because this is the definition of ganja according to the
so-called Dangerous Drugs Act. It says here (that) 'ganja includes all
parts of the plant known as cannabis sativa, from which the resin has
not been extracted and include any resin obtained from that plant'. It
goes on, 'But does not include medicinal preparations made from that
plant'. This is the definition of ganja in the Dangerous Drugs Act ...
but it does not include medicinal preparation made from that plant.

Political Action

So rather than take a strong political action, the politicians have
been meandering, have been trying to please the local people and to
please the foreign masters. That is the root of the problem. How will
the United States react if Jamaica was to decriminalise ganja? They
have made it clear in some of the arguments that we see from time to
time that they are against us decriminalising ganja.

So all the many commissions, including the more recent Chevannes
Commission that recommended decriminalisation of ganja, keep meeting
that obstacle as to how will these political leaders behave in trying
to appease the foreign masters ...
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake