Jamaican Parliament Approves Commission 

Jamaican Parliament Approves Commission 
Posted by FoM on October 15, 1999 at 08:54:51 PT
NORML's Weekly Update News
Source: NORML
Oct. 14, 1999, Kingston, Jamaica: The Jamaican Senate has unanimously approved a resolution establishing a commission to explore the decriminalization of marijuana. 
Trevor Munroe, the Independent senator who sponsored the resolution, has also suggested that the commission look into legalizing medical marijuana and the clearing of criminal records for Jamaicans who were arrested with small quantities of marijuana intended for personal use.  "What it (the resolution) is saying is that it is unfair and wrong to make a criminal, particularly of a young person with a spliff in personal usage in private premises, so that there are disadvantages in applying for a visa in getting a job," Munroe said. "At the same time it is not illegal to consume alcohol and use tobacco, two substances which are in fact regarded as being even more dangerous than ganja."  This is not the first commission set up by the Jamaican Parliament to look at marijuana decriminalization. A similar commission concluded 22 years ago that there should be no penalty for private use, a $10 fine for public use and that marijuana should be legally prescribed by doctors. Politicians refused to implement the recommendations in the 1970s for fear of offending its trade partners such as the United States.  "Clearly, if it were not for the United States' economic and military dominance of this hemisphere, Jamaica would certainly have reformed its American-inspired marijuana laws decades ago -- then again, most other countries would likely do the same," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director.   The ruling People's National Party also favors setting up a similar commission to investigate the uses of industrial hemp.   For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751. NORML's News Bulletin: Wacky Tobaccy - 10/12/99 News NORML Related Articles:
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Comment #1 posted by rka on June 22, 2000 at 10:20:51 PT
Munroe is so right. . . my country allows me to choose the president, carry a gun, have an abortion, get married. . . I am given all of these choices and expected to make them wisely yet I cannot be trusted with the choice of what to put into my own body. With all this anti-Big Tobacco propaganda, the United States needs to realize that democracy is all about making your own free and informed choices and to allow me to make a choice on whether I should "pollute" (more propaganda) my body with cigarettes, but I am not given such a choice in other similar arenas is crap. To all Jamaicans who understand personal freedom: Do not let the United States bully you out of or into any legislation your people do not think is truly right. The national objectives of Jamaica - or any fair-thinking country - should not be swayed because some other big powerful country comes down and directly or indirectly implies its dissatisfaction as an economically manipulative tactic. 
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