The Caribbean island state of Jamaica has gone ahead with plans to allow possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis for ‘personal use’ and to decriminalise it for medical use.
It’s a continuation of the ‘ripple effect’ being seen as more and more Governments realise that prohibition offers no benefits for society, only the burden of a criminal legacy for the youth. The new rules will make a lot more sense. Without criminal records for drugs, students and workers can more easily get travel and work visa’s for the USA and elsewhere. Police will now be free from the obligation to make meaningless arrests and courts will see thousands of cases disappear from their workload.
If the Jamaican tourist chiefs are smart they could become an ‘Amsterdam’ of the Caribbean. Hotels could arrange pot themed ganja holidays. No doubt someone will soon have a cannabis cup arranged in Jamaica.
The new Jamaican laws offer something for everyone. The guy on the street can now legally enjoy his cannabis. The cops and courts get a reduced workload without reduced salaries. Medical users can now get better access to cannabis medicines.
And even organised crime will continue to enjoy substantial tax-free profits. The Jamaican Government has stopped short of full legalisation that has been seen in the USA and Uruguay. This means that the majority of the large-scale Jamaican pot production will be unregulated and therefore untaxed. Profits will continue to line criminal pockets and amplify crime elsewhere. But still, it’s a start and is perhaps an attractive model for other less adventurous European politicians.
June 16th 2014