Pubdate: Sun, 15 Jun 2014
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2014 The Gleaner Company Limited


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 15, CMC - The Medical Association of Jamaica 
(MAJ) has taken issue with the changes proposed by the government in 
relation to the possession and smoking of marijuana.

The MAJ has warned that the relaxation of the laws will lead to more 
usage and consequently more mental problems among the population.

Justice Minister Mark Golding announced the changes last Thursday. 
Among the changes were that users of small quantities of marijuana 
will no longer have a criminal record, and smoking of the illegal 
drug would be de-criminalised under certain conditions.

According to Golding, Cabinet had approved the decision to amend the 
Dangerous Drugs Act to make it a ticketable offence, the possession 
of two ounces (0.057 kilogrammes ) or less of marijuana. This means 
it will no longer be an arrestable offence, but one which will 
attract a fine, and will not give rise to a criminal record.

In response to Golding's announcement, the MAJ has asked the Cabinet 
to reconsider its position in line with health practice and science.

MAJ President Dr Shane Alexis argued that the decision will cause 
more mental and physical health problems for Jamaicans, especially the youth.
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