Is Jamaica Going To Legalize Cannabis & Become A Republic?

Priest Headly holds a bud of marijuana. Ethiopian African International Congress Rastafarian encampment, Bulls Bay. Kingston, Jamaica. By David Levene. 6/3/08

Jamaica, considered by many as the cultural motherland for cannabis consumption due to its Rastafarian roots and popular image, marijuana has actually been illegal there for decades. In April of last year, that finally started to change, and the agenda for this next year is getting exciting, for very big reasons.

Last year at this time

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Last April, Jamaica passes a law that decriminalized cannabis to a certain extent. Citizens are allowed to cultivate up to five plants, and though they can consume on the daily, their company is limited to friends and family. In other words, you have to be at home.

Home is the center of the new law, as anything over 56 grams outside of the home is a fine of 500 Jamaican dollars, or $4.50 US dollars. If you get caught with anything over 2 ounces, however, you will get in trouble with a criminal charge of trafficking.

Religious observation

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Those of the Rastafarian religion have an exempt status in the law, able to grow, consume, and transport in…

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