Jamaica to Relax Marijuana Restrictions

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October 26, 2016
Denver, CO

The Jamaican government announced Thursday that it is rethinking its marijuana policies, reports the Sacramento Bee. Justice Minister Mark Golding and the Cabinet are supporting legislation being drafted that would decriminalize possession of under two ounces of marijuana. In addition, a bill that would provide a path for those convicted under the current system of laws to having their criminal records expunged is in the works. Debate regarding the loosening of marijuana laws in Jamaica has been ongoing for many years, as much of the island nation’s culture is tied to marijuana. The law is being changed mainly for religious reasons, as Rastafarianism, a prominent religion within Jamaica, uses marijuana in many of its ceremonial practices. Though the legislature has tried to decriminalize marijuana in the past, it was shot down because due to fear of backlash from Washington. Minister Golding believes now is a good time to pass the legislation, as the Obama administration is unlikely to push back against this proposed decriminalization.

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