Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jan 2009
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2009 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Author: DB
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Elliott Cites Anti-Doping Links At JADCO Symposium

Being a signatory to three international anti-doping conventions means
Jamaica cannot legalise the use of marijuana, according to doctor of
sports medicine, Herb Elliott.

Elliott was speaking at the opening of the Jamaica Anti-Doping
Commission's (JADCO's) two-day symposium at the Knutsford Court Hotel in
Kingston yesterday.

Jamaica, in addition to being the 16th country to ratify the UNESCO
International Convention for Doping in Sport, is also a signatory to all
three Geneva Conventions on the use of psychotropic drugs as well as the
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

"Therefore we could not legalise it (ganja)," Elliott told the Observer.

He said the option would be to decriminalise the use of the substance, as
is the case with other countries such as The Netherlands.

"Decriminalising it would be to put some limits on its use, so for
instance you wouldn't lock up a guy if he had one cigarette, but if he was
trafficking, selling or growing it you could put the law into force. But
you would not send anyone to jail because he had one spliff," Elliott

"(If we legalised it) we would be laughed at because we signed the
international conventions and the government has always had its
international commitments, and I don't know if the people who are pushing
for do not realise we have signed these three conventions," he added.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Medical &
Doping Commission member, in the meantime, would like to see a law banning
all forms of smoking at sporting events.

He noted the specific case of the Jamaican athlete who tested positive for
marijuana which he said was caused from second-hand smoke inhalation.

"When you go to the stadium (for instance) you could get drunk from
sitting inside...," Elliott said, referring to the proliferation of
persons who smoke substances, including marijuana, at the National Stadium
during sporting events.

"That means that my footballers out there would not get contaminated,"
Elliott noted.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Doug