Marijuana Use May Soon Be Permitted in Jamaica
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Marijuana Use May Soon Be Permitted in Jamaica
Posted by CN Staff on June 17, 2014 at 18:33:01 PT
By Justin Moyer
Source: Washington Post
World -- In Colorado, they legalized it for the tax revenue. In Jamaica, it’s a matter of faith. After months of discussion, the island nation’s parliament is expected to vote this fall on a proposal to allow the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.It would make possession of small quantities of ganja for personal use a “ticketable infraction.” And it would “decriminalize” the use of ganja for medical and religious purposes. If that confuses you — decriminalizing pot but still ticketing those who possess it — you’ve got company.
“It simply doesn’t make sense,” the Jamaican Observer editorialized. How, it asked, does fining people “square with the government’s proposal to allow the use of the herb for religious purposes?” The question remains unanswered, but the move was definitely aimed at least in part at promoting religious freedom.But what religion endorses marijuana use?Rastafarianism — a singular movement founded in Jamaica in the 1930s.Specifically: Rastas wear their hair in dreadlocks, eschew alcohol, often disdain homosexuality, are vegetarian and worship Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, who died (and may have been murdered) in 1975.And Rastas smoke dope. From the BBC:Marijuana is regarded as a herb of religious significance. It is used in Rastafari reasoning sessions, which are communal meetings involving meditation. According to Leonard Barrett, Rastafarians first began using Marijuana in reaction to the treatment of blacks in society. It became a reactionary device to enable freedom from the establishment….Marijuana is used by Rastafarians to heighten feelings of community and to produce visions of a religious and calming nature. Rastafarians are unlikely to refer to the substance as marijuana; they usually describe it as the wisdom weed or the holy herb.The latter name is used because Rastafarians believe that marijuana use is sacred, following biblical texts justifying its use.Stereotypes of weed-smoking, dreadlocked Rastas abound. The Rastas most recognizable to many in the United States may be musicians such as Bob Marley and Bad Brains, the legendary punk band founded in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s.But while it’s easy to stereotype Rastas, marijuana use in Jamaica is linked to religious freedom. Indeed, in 2001, Jamaica’s National Commission on Ganja concluded that marijuana’s “reputation among the people as a panacea and a spiritually enhancing substance is so strong that it is must be regarded as culturally entrenched.”In 2012, some estimated that up to 10 percent of the island’s 2.7 million people are Rastafarian.So, if Jamaica permits marijuana use in the fall, more than 200,000 will celebrate — though they can still be ticketed and fined.Until that vote, here is former Marley bandmate Peter Tosh performing “Legalize It”:Source: Washington Post (DC) Author:  Justin MoyerPublished: June 17, 2014Copyright: 2014 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by observer on June 19, 2014 at 18:46:19 PT
Legalize It - Dub
re: "Until that vote, here is former Marley bandmate Peter Tosh performing 'Legalize It'"Here's my favorite Dub mix of that:Peter Tosh - Legalize It - Dub Club Remix featuring Ranking Joe
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Comment #3 posted by rchandar on June 18, 2014 at 21:22:35 PT:
Basically I'm for it. It's a poor country and legalize would produce large amounts of tax revenue for the island. In the past there was pressure from the USA to suppress these measures. Any idea as to what Barry O thinks?
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Comment #2 posted by swazi-x on June 18, 2014 at 13:23:59 PT
Sounds Good...but
It's the same game law enforcement and government are playing here in the U.S. - it's "decriminalized" but they still get to fill their pockets with fines from people who, according to them, aren't breaking the law. It's sleight of hand trickery designed to placate those who accept this fluff without thinking about it.If it's not a crime, why would there be a fine? I suppose then that running a red light has been decriminalized too? Speeding, driving without tail lights, driving an unregistered car - all "decriminalized", right? Every ticketable misdemeanor is technically decriminalized then - rendering meaningless the one word they're offering us as proof of progress.They give us a treat, then slap us with the other hand. It's the way government keeps all those potheads under their thumbs while pretending they're responsive to the will of the majority. They're not - they don't have to be because they enforce the law and generally believe themselves to be above it, and they use every trick in the book (funded by our unlimited tax dollars) to weasel their way around changing the status-quo. Jamaica has taken a page from our playbook here - collusion between masters from different countries, with the Jamaican masters seeing the beauty of that magic word "decriminalization" to make us non-thinking shlubs believe they're doing the right thing. All they're doing is cutting jail costs while they fatten their coffers with fines for something that is not a crime.It's nonsense, pure and simple.
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Comment #1 posted by herbdoc215 on June 18, 2014 at 09:42:46 PT
It's about time!
Seems like the progress we are making here in USA is spurring many whom have been under our foot for years to strike out on their own path and while I'm still focused on medical it sure is nice to see this legalization path take on a life of it's own. there is no stopping us now and the truth just keeps rolling on and many here should be proud of yourselves for being voices of reason in a world filled with greed and prejudice, as this place has and will always hold a special place in my heart! Peace, Steve Tuck
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