A law decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of cannabis for everyone 18 and older, while legalizing it for medical, scientific and religious purposes, took effect in Jamaica on Wednesday, April 15th.
Under the new law – which was approved by lawmakers in February – the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to five cannabis plants, is no longer an arrestable, criminal offense, but instead is a simple ticket. The proposal also establishes a cannabis licensing authority to oversee regulations for the cultivation, production and distribution of cannabis for medical, scientific and religious purposes.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, whose governing party holds a two thirds majority in Parliament, is one of the primary backers of the bill.
With the new law taking effect, Jamaica joins Uruguay as the only nations in the world to officially legalize cannabis for non-medical use.