JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government intends to embark on a public education campaign to discourage the use of ganja among specific groups in society.
  • Among those to be targeted are: adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable persons.
  • This campaign is to be supported from a portion of the revenues anticipated from the establishment of a new licensing regime for the proposed hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.

The Government intends to embark on a public education campaign to discourage the use of ganja among specific groups in society.

Among those to be targeted are: adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable persons.

This campaign is to be supported from a portion of the revenues anticipated from the establishment of a new licensing regime for the proposed hemp and medicinal ganja industry in Jamaica.

The establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority, to regulate the industry, is one of the provisions under the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, 2015. The Bill seeks to decriminalize ganja for medicinal, religious, and private/personal use.

Providing details on the campaign at the Jamaica House media briefing on January 21, Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said this exercise is necessary as “it is fully recognised that the use of ganja in Jamaica by adolescents and other vulnerable groups is a pressing social problem.”

Senator Golding further noted that while public education around unsafe sex and alcohol drinking practices has become quite prevalent, “the legal prohibition on ganja has meant that the very real need for public messaging to discourage abusive practices in relation to ganja has been largely ignored.”

He added that the campaign also seeks to mitigate adverse public health consequences associated with the use of ganja.

“It is also intended that our institutional arrangements for tackling the problems of drug abuse, and in particular, our mental health services and the National Council on Drug Abuse, will be strengthened by this source of new revenues,” the Minister said.

Senator Golding pointed out that the revenues will also be used to support the regulatory framework being established to govern the medical, scientific and therapeutic ganja industry.

He informed that the Minister of Finance is given specific authority under the law to direct the allocation of the revenues for these purposes.

The Bill is expected to be tabled in the Senate on Friday, January 23.

Skip to content