Jamaica will soon decriminalize the personal possession of cannabis, and will also allow possession for medical, religious and scientific purposes, according to an announcement made today by Justice Minister Mark Golding.
According to the announcement, the cabinet is supporting a soon-to-be-released proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, making it a simple fine rather than an arrestable offense.
Golding says the government also plans to draft legislation that will allow those previously convicted of cannabis use/possession to get their criminal records expunged.
“[T]he criminalization of possession of a small quantity of ganja and of smoking ganja has caused significant hardships in Jamaica, particularly among young men,” Golding said. “A conviction for possession or use of ganja results in a criminal record, which often precludes the offender from engaging certain employment, impacts his ability to get visas to travel overseas, and generally limits his life prospects. This is a serious human rights issue, supporting the cry for reform to our laws in this area.”
We’ll keep you updated as things progress.