JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 was passed by both Houses of Parliament in February this year.
  • This much-anticipated legislation, commonly referred to as ‘the Ganja Law’, is expected to have a number of positive implications for Jamaica.
  • "The benefits of these reforms will be significant, and the possible negative implications will, for the first time, be mitigated by a public education campaign to discourage ganja use by adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups." - Hon. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice.

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015 was passed by both Houses of Parliament in February this year.

 

The Ministry of Justice wishes to advise as follows:

(1) Notification of the Governor General’s assent to the Act has been published in the Gazette; and

(2) The Minister of Justice will bring the Act into operation, by a notice published in the Gazette, this week Wednesday the 15th day of April, 2015.

 

This much-anticipated legislation, commonly referred to as ‘the Ganja Law’, is expected to have a number of positive implications for Jamaica, including:

i. Strengthening respect for the rule of law and building a more just society, by eliminating a common cause of corrosive antagonism between the Police and young men, particularly in less affluent communities;

ii. Reducing the heavy burden of cases on the Resident Magistrates’ Courts;

iii. Acknowledging the constitutional rights of the Rastafari community, who use ganja as a sacrament; and

iv. Paving way for the emergence of a lawful, regulated legitimate medicinal and industrial marijuana industry that may have significant economic opportunities and benefits.

“This is a landmark piece of legislation, that is long overdue,” noted Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, Minister of Justice. “Jamaica is approaching these reforms in a responsible manner, and in keeping with our international obligations. The benefits of these reforms will be significant, and the possible negative implications will, for the first time, be mitigated by a public education campaign to discourage ganja use by adolescents, persons with mental disorders, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups.”

For additional information about the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, please view the fact sheet prepared by the Ministry of Justice HERE.