Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use has been decriminalised in Jamaica after a drugs law that was passed on Friday was debated by senators for five hours.
Having up to two ounces (around 56 grams) will only be punishable by a fixed penalty ticket, instead of a criminal charge.
The amendment of the law happens to have been passed on the birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley, who died of cancer aged 36 in 1981. He is well-known to have praised weed as “the healing of a nation.”
The new penalty will cost, or if it would be a criminal offence to not pay the amount, is not yet known.
The old Dangerous Drugs Act stipulated that possession of cannabis carried a sentence up to five years and a penalty fine of up to $100 (around £57) per ounce, or up to three years in prison and a fine.
Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte had described the new legislation, piloted by Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, as “very, very badly drafted, and incomplete” due to uncertainties regarding new penalty fine consequences.
The new legislation will also pave the way for a scheme of licences and authorisations for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes, The Jamaica Gleaner reports.
– Read the entire article at The Independent.