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JAMAICA | Mark Golding welcomes UN's removal of Ganja as a Schedule lV Drug

Featured Opposition Leader and PNP President Mark Golding Opposition Leader and PNP President Mark Golding
KINGSTON, Jamaica December 2, 2020 – Opposition Leader Mark Golding has welcomed today’s vote by the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs,  to remove marijuana (specifically for medical use) from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which   included opioids like heroin, fentanyl, and other highly addictive drugs such as cocaine.

A release from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition said “the removal of marijuana is a significant achievement for drug policy reform internationally and represents the fruit of successful collaboration among reform groups, key stakeholders and countries.” 

The Opposition Leader said “the UN Commission’s decision presents an opportune time for further review of Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act. The 2015 amendments to the legislation were designed within the constraints of the Schedule IV designation of marijuana, and the removal of that designation opens the possibility of further advancement of the reform process.”  

Mr. Golding said, “Jamaica’s emerging medical cannabis industry, and other stakeholders who are currently effectively excluded from the industry, are looking to the Government of Jamaica to further modernize Jamaica’s laws so that the industry can become more inclusive and participatory for all Jamaicans.”

Mr Golding and the People’s National Party are committed to being available to facilitate and participate in the review process. 

Meanwhile, President of the Ganja Growers and Producers Association Jamaica Mr. Richard “Dickie” Crawford has welcomed today’s long overdue historic decision by the UN Commission for Narcotics Drugs to remove cannabis for medicinal purposes from the Category 4 Schedule, which lists the world’s most dangerous drugs heroin and opium.

“While not a total victory for the legalization of cannabis, this is a major leap forward and will push the further opening of all wider cannabis usage, including personal use, as Canada, many US states and other countries have done and or considering,” Crawford said.

“The recommendations for changing the classification of marijuana were first made by the World Health Organization in 2019. But they were politically divisive, which led to unusual delays in the United Nations commission’s vote,” as quoted by the N.Y Times.

He said “the GGPAJ is again repeating its call for a full review of the Dangerous Drugs 2015 (Amendment) Act to reduce the regulations and strictures for potential ganga growers, producers and consumers with the aim of making ganja and other cannabis derived products more affordable and accessible to the Jamaican population.”

The GGPAJ  said while it recognizes the historic significance of today’s UN Vote, “It also recognizes that this will never undo the decades of criminalization, incarcerations, injustice, oppression and denial of cannabis treatment alternatives to millions of people throughout the world and in Jamaicans, particularly to our herbalists and the Rastafarian community.”


  • Countries: Jamaica
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