The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, which organised a three-day meeting on marijuana decriminalisation together with the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), says the Portia Simpson Miller administration should move within a four month period to decriminalise marijuana.
The taskforce has issued a 12-point roadmap it believes the government should follow. It wants the government to immediately expunge criminal records for all Jamaicans convicted for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
The task force said Jamaica would significantly benefit from a regulated medical marijuana industry.
Jamaica and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will discuss the issue of decrominalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes when they meet in Antigua in July for their annual summit.
The leaders during their inter-sessional summit in St. Vincent in March discussed a preliminary report prepared by the CARICOM Secretariat that indicated decriminalising marijuana for medicinal purposes could help boost the region’s economy.
The St. Lucia government has already said it is important for CARICOM to adopt a regional approach to settling the issue of the legislation of marijuana.
“The movement of citizens within the region makes it difficult to deal with the decriminalisation of marijuana on an individual basis. Therefore, I personally believe that this issue must be dealt with on the regional level,” Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has said.