Parliament of Jamaica on 25 February 2015 passed a law to decriminalise the possession of small amount of marijuana up to 57 grams for personal use.
Marijuana is widely grown in Jamaica and has cultural roots there. The country is also the biggest exporter of marijuana to the United States among Caribbean countries.
Provisions of the law
• It allows Jamaica's Rastafarians to use marijuana for religious purposes. The plant is regarded as sacred by members of the faith and has been celebrated in the island's reggae music.
• It paves the way for establishing Cannabis Licensing Authority to deal with regulating the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes in Jamaica.
• It makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense that can result in a ticket but not in a criminal record.
• Cultivation of five or fewer plants of Marijuana on any premises will be permitted.
• Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will soon be able to apply for permits authorizing them to legally buy small amounts of Jamaican weed.
This move by Jamaican lawmakers is in line with the international trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use.
Uruguay was the first country in the world to approve the growth, sale and distribution of marijuana. In United States, states like Alaska, Colorado, and Washington have legalised the sale and possession of marijuana for both medical and non-medical use.
Mexico, Colombia and Argentina have also decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
When: 25 February 2015