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Jamaica’s Governor General Gives OK to Ganja Law

Great news for Jamaica! The Governor General for the Queen of England, Sir Patrick Allen, has given his assent to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act to make possession of up to two ounces of cannabis a ticketable offense, effectively decriminalizing marijuana in Jamaica.

Jamaica’s House of Representatives joined the Senate to pass what is now being referred to as the “Ganja Law,” a landmark amendment which would also legalize the medicinal and spiritual use of cannabis in addition to decriminalizing, thus paving the way for a new cannabis market in a country that has long been known for its storied past with the plant (see also: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Rastafarianism, etc). This new “Ganja Law” is particularly historic for its specification of spirituality as a legitimate reason for use. Cannabis has been used in spiritual and meditative rituals for centuries,  but this is the first time a piece of legislation has acknowledged the validity of its use for spiritual purposes.

Speaking of spiritual beliefs, there was a significant delay in response from the Governor General, leading many to speculate that his beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist may be contradictory to the new law, but in the end, he chose to sign the document and make the decriminalization official.

Jamaica: the new destination for the future of cannabis? Ya, mon!

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Lisa Rough

Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.

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