Ganja Public Education Coming – Golding

Senator Mark Golding, Jamaica’s Justice Minister, has confirmed that a communication programme is bring developed to clear up misconceptions regarding the reform of the country’s ganja laws.

In an interview with RJR News, Senator Golding said the programme will be in two parts – one section seeking to explain the updated law “in plain and easily understood language, through a question and answer model,” and the other will answer public health questions.

That second aspect, he said, will “inform the public about ganja and discourage the use of ganja by vulnerable groups.” This aspect of the communication programme is being developed by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), he explained.

That draft document, being developed by the NCDA, will be presented to the relevant Cabinet sub-committee “by next week Friday,” he disclosed.

On March 6, Garfield Coburn, a resident of Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew, was fatally shot by the police, after he reportedly resisted attempts by them to arrest him for possession of a ganja spliff.

That incident sparked protests in the community, and calls by various interest groups for an immediate public education programme on the new ganja regime.

Under the legislation, possession of ganja of two ounces or less will no longer be an arrestable criminal offence, but a ticketable infraction which will carry a fixed penalty.


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