Somewhere, Peter Tosh & Bob Marley is smiling. That’s because Tuesday Feb 24th , the government of Jamaica made it legal for residents to carry up to two ounces of marijuana, and grow up to five plants per household.
Delroy Chuck, a Jamaican MP and former justice minister, says the new law brings Jamaican law in line with its culture, especially in rural areas where cannabis use is widespread. He said, in particular, rural residents like to use the plant to make a tea. “All the rural residents insist that it gives them a calming effect. It soothes their stomachs,” he tells As ItHappens host Carol Off.
Mr. Chuck supported a move to legalize weed when he was justice minister in 2011. He supported the current bill as an opposition member. “The bill is really trying to walk through the raindrops. We had to make it quite clear that we weren’t violating international treaties.”
He adds that since he first introduced legislation, a number of US states have also decriminalized pot use, as well as countries such as Uruguay.
The Jamaican government will still advocate against smoking, he adds, saying that he doesn’t think the legalization of marijuana will cause more people to use it than already do. “I rather doubt it. I have never used it, and I doubt I will ever use it.”