Pubdate: Tue, 25 Apr 2006
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2006 The Gleaner Company Limited
Author: Ed McCoy


His name and where on the island he grows his crops isn't important,
though it could easily be the same as yours or mine and he could live
and work a stone's throw away from almost anyone there. What's most
important about him and the hundreds, if not thousands, like him in
Jamaica today, is that the government body studying the
decriminalisation/legalisation of ganja realise that this man and the
decent people around him have been exploited all their lives because
of bad-written laws and the stigma that comes with

To him and most Jamaican farmers, ganja is no more than another of
many herbs, grown for its many uses. It is not an 'evil weed' as
suggested by religious zealots with narrow minds and very little life
experience, nor is it some 'magic carpet' ride experience and a
solution to all the world's problems. Like most things, it has its
uses and limits and people should learn them.

Moreover, to many of those same farmers, those who would control or
try to eradicate its use are as mad as those who would risk life and
limb and spend fortunes trying to smuggle it off the island.

Why shouldn't the country that he loves so dearly decriminalise the
possession and use of small quantities of ganja by Jamaicans on the
island? Why not let him and the hundreds, if not thousands, of others
like him arise tomorrow and see a new day dawn in Jamaica, a day in
which he and his friends can grow and use a little 'herb' for
themselves without being called 'criminals' and without having Babylon
in their faces?

I am, etc.,

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