Bob Marley used to call it ‘The healing of a nation’. He was talking about, of course, cannabis. The reggae star, whose life was tragically cut short when he was just 36, was a huge advocate of the benefits of smoking weed. The Jamaican never lived to see its legalization in his home country though, as that tweak to the law has only just happened. Despite hundred of years of marijuana use over there.
But now, and significantly, on Marley’s birthday, the law has changed. A person can now legally carry 2 ounces of weed on them (that’s about 36 grams). So long as it’s for their own use. And not smoked in public.
There was immense pressure put upon the Caribbean island to decriminalize the possession (and, by extension, the smoking of) cannabis – which is officially known as ‘ganja’ in Jamaican law and to all residents – recently. Why? Well, some states in America went legal. Okay, only for ‘medicinal purposes’ and for those with a licence, but still…
Ganja has long been integral to the culture of the Jamaican people and many have long argued that it wasn’t just sense to legalize the ‘erb, but almost a human and cultural right for the islanders.
The old law, called the ‘Dangerous Drugs Act’ said that possession of marijuana carried a jail sentence up to five years and a penalty fine of up to a hundred bucks (US) for every ounce – or up to three years in prison and a fine, depending. So this recent relaxing of the laws is quite a significant turnaround
But it’s still just 2 ounces allowed, so this guy still has to watch himself…
Enjoy yourselves, Jamaica and Happy Birthday, Bob!