Pubdate: Mon, 26 May 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Page: 10


KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Lobbyists urged Jamaica's government Sunday
to move within 120 days to decriminalize pot and establish a local
medical marijuana industry.

The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce organized a
three-day meeting on marijuana decriminalization with Jamaica's
largest university. The conference, which drew speakers from the U.S.
and Israel, ended Saturday.

On Sunday, the lobbyists issued a 12-point roadmap they want the
government to follow. Among other things, they assert that Jamaica
should immediately expunge criminal records for all Jamaicans
convicted for possessing small amounts of marijuana and amend laws so
private, personal use by adults is decriminalized.

The group also believes Jamaica will significantly benefit from a
regulated medical marijuana industry.

Pot has been pervasive but outlawed in Jamaica for a century. But as
the pot legalization movement gains traction in spots around the
globe, most notably in the South American nation of Uruguay and the U.
S. states of Colorado and Washington, there is a growing push to lift
restrictions on the island.

A few Cabinet ministers have publicly taken up the idea of medical
marijuana and pot decriminalization, even indicating that changes to
marijuana laws are on the horizon.

But the government of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has
provided little indication of its thinking on the issue or provided a
coherent timeline on whether any changes might be brought up for
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