Pubdate: Thu, 19 Mar 2015
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2015 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


KINGSTON, Jamaica - Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, 
Anthony Hylton, says Jamaica intends to lead a charge in the United 
Nations to effect changes to the international treaties concerning marijuana.

The aim is to change the schedule class of marijuana in light of 
scientific studies that have proven its therapeutic benefits and 
medicinal value.

"We believe that the schedule in which marijuana is now placed, which 
is one of the highest schedules as a drug, we believe that it should 
be removed from that schedule and looked at in the light of... the 
evidence, which has revealed its strong medicinal (value)," Hylton 
said, while addressing a session of the recently concluded Jamaica 
Investment Forum (JIF) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

"Jamaica intends to participate, and to lead, if necessary, a process 
in the United Nations to have those treaties amended or to reflect 
what I believe is the evidence that is available, and take those 
fully into account in the international treaties as they now exist," he said.

The industry minister noted that Jamaica has a reputation in the 
international community as a legal nation and has the requisite 
skills and know-how to lead a diplomatic effort to have the laws and 
treaties changed.

Jamaica has passed the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act to 
decriminalise the use of ganja for specified purposes.

The legislation makes the possession of two ounces, or less, of ganja 
a non-arrestable, but ticketable, offence attracting a fixed monetary 
penalty. It will also allow for a scheme of licences, permits, and 
other authorisations, which enable the establishment of a lawful, 
regulated industry for ganja for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes.

Minister Hylton, who was responding to queries from potential 
investors, regarding the production or export of ganja, made it clear 
that the passage of the legislation does not provide for such undertakings.

"Our treaty obligations at the moment require that we address some 
issues having to do with exports and trans-shipment into other 
countries. We have to be respectful of those, otherwise we (can 
easily) become an outlaw in... the community of nations," he pointed out.
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