Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jan 2015
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2015 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,


THE United States Government says it welcomes discussion and debate 
on drug policy and that it is up to the people of Jamaica to decide 
which policies are most appropriate for the country within the realms 
of international law.

Yesterday's declaration came amidst a Jamaica Observer report 
suggesting that the US is uncomfortable with recent moves to 
decriminalise ganja for personal use in Jamaica.

"We recognise that it is important to examine what works and to 
discuss the trends and challenges our neighbours are facing. The US 
and Jamaica have a strong law-enforcement and security partnership. 
Our law enforcement agencies work together to combat transnational 
criminal networks and international drug trafficking and the violence 
they breed," Joshua Polacheck, counsellor for public affairs at the 
US Embassy Kingston, told the Observer.

The US, Polacheck said, "is firmly committed to upholding our 
obligations under the three UN drug conventions, as well as working 
with international partners, including Jamaica, to promote the goals 
of those conventions".

"These conventions are the foundation of international cooperation 
for dealing with all aspects of the drug problem, and we support them 
unwaveringly. The conventions allow for a degree of flexibility on 
how member states, such as Jamaica, implement their obligations, 
particularly with respect to drug use. These conventions anticipate 
variations in national legal frameworks," he emphasised.

"The United States understands that Jamaica may develop its own 
policies to address specific Jamaican concerns within Jamaican 
borders. Our focus, bilaterally and globally, remains on combatting 
international drug trafficking and transnational organised crime," he added.
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