• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards, says the Government continues to bolster its counter-drug response, with strategies put in place that are focussed on demand and supply reduction, and control measures.
    • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) places total retail sales of illicit drugs at around $320 billion or 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
    • The MEM process highlights strengths and weaknesses in its country reports and encourages national dialogue among policy makers.

    Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards, says the Government continues to bolster its counter-drug response, with strategies put in place that are focussed on demand and supply reduction, and control measures.

    He noted that the measures, which are in accordance with the Organization of American States (OAS) Hemispheric Drug Strategy, also include building capacity through institutional strengthening and international cooperation.

    He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the presentation of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) 7th Round National Evaluation Reports on Drug Policies 2019, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (Oct. 25).

    Mr. Richards pointed out that  some of the activities undertaken include: the relaunch of the Jamaica Drug Information Network by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) in collaboration with the OAS/ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission  (CICAD); expansion of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Canine Division for greater narcotic drug detection; enhancing sub-regional cooperation with a number of countries via maritime and law enforcement agreements;  and bolstering border control measures through acquisition of patrol boats and airplanes.

    Other initiatives include moving the illicit cannabis crop into a regulated legal framework; establishment of five drug courts with assistance from the OAS/CICAD as an alternative to incarceration; and the development of a National Early Warning System (EWS) on drugs.

    The objective of the EWS is to identify emerging drugs, assess the risks they pose, and provide information for the design of effective responses.

    Mr. Richards said the effects of the drug problem are far-reaching and cross disciplinary, and therefore require strengthened local, regional and international partnerships to effectively address the challenges.

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) places total retail sales of illicit drugs at around $320 billion or 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

    It further states that about 275 million people worldwide, which is roughly 5.6 per cent of the global population, ages 15–64 years, used drugs at least once during 2016.   Additionally, cannabis was the most commonly used drug in 2016, with 192 million people using it at least once in the previous year.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Richards said that MEM serves as a valuable tool in identifying the challenges and highlighting the areas where Jamaica is doing well.

    Jamaica has been credited for implementing policies and programmes to prevent and reduce illicit crops and the illicit production of drugs; putting in place alternative measures to incarceration for low-level drug offences through the Drug Court Act of 2001; and protocols and operating procedures to detect, investigate and dismantle laboratories and facilitates for the illicit processing or manufacture of drugs.

    Among the shortcomings highlighted is the lack of training programmes on the identification and handling of controlled chemical substances.

    MEM is a peer review process that measures the progress of actions taken by OAS member states to address the drug problem and related crimes.

    It evaluates the states’ implementation of the CICAD Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs (2016-2020), which is aligned with the objectives and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development goals.

    The MEM process highlights strengths and weaknesses in its country reports and encourages national dialogue among policy makers.

    Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of National Security, Rohan Richards, says the Government continues to bolster its counter-drug response, with strategies put in place that are focussed on demand and supply reduction, and control measures.

    He noted that the measures, which are in accordance with the Organization of American States (OAS) Hemispheric Drug Strategy, also include building capacity through institutional strengthening and international cooperation.

    He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the presentation of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) 7th Round National Evaluation Reports on Drug Policies 2019, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (Oct. 25).

    Mr. Richards pointed out that  some of the activities undertaken include: the relaunch of the Jamaica Drug Information Network by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) in collaboration with the OAS/ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission  (CICAD); expansion of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Canine Division for greater narcotic drug detection; enhancing sub-regional cooperation with a number of countries via maritime and law enforcement agreements;  and bolstering border control measures through acquisition of patrol boats and airplanes.

    Other initiatives include moving the illicit cannabis crop into a regulated legal framework; establishment of five drug courts with assistance from the OAS/CICAD as an alternative to incarceration; and the development of a National Early Warning System (EWS) on drugs.

    The objective of the EWS is to identify emerging drugs, assess the risks they pose, and provide information for the design of effective responses.

    Mr. Richards said the effects of the drug problem are far-reaching and cross disciplinary, and therefore require strengthened local, regional and international partnerships to effectively address the challenges.

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) places total retail sales of illicit drugs at around $320 billion or 0.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

    It further states that about 275 million people worldwide, which is roughly 5.6 per cent of the global population, ages 15–64 years, used drugs at least once during 2016.   Additionally, cannabis was the most commonly used drug in 2016, with 192 million people using it at least once in the previous year.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Richards said that MEM serves as a valuable tool in identifying the challenges and highlighting the areas where Jamaica is doing well.

    Jamaica has been credited for implementing policies and programmes to prevent and reduce illicit crops and the illicit production of drugs; putting in place alternative measures to incarceration for low-level drug offences through the Drug Court Act of 2001; and protocols and operating procedures to detect, investigate and dismantle laboratories and facilitates for the illicit processing or manufacture of drugs.

    Among the shortcomings highlighted is the lack of training programmes on the identification and handling of controlled chemical substances.

    MEM is a peer review process that measures the progress of actions taken by OAS member states to address the drug problem and related crimes.

    It evaluates the states’ implementation of the CICAD Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs (2016-2020), which is aligned with the objectives and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development goals.

    The MEM process highlights strengths and weaknesses in its country reports and encourages national dialogue among policy makers.