Sun | Sep 23, 2018

This weed business

Published:Monday | March 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

They say change is the only constant, but in Jamaica, there are certain things that are immune to modification.

I'm not an old man, but I've lived long enough to know that no matter the rhetoric, no matter the protest, and no matter the glaring need to address it, some things just don't move. One thing that was, is and will always be present is the presence of the good old weed. Marijuana. Herb. Skunk. Pot. The Chronic.

Recently, the Houses of Parliament debated, and ultimately amended the Dangerous Drugs Act. The legislation means that possessing two ounces, or less, of ganja is a non-arrestable, but ticketable offence, attracting a fixed monetary penalty. The law will also allow for a scheme of licences, permits, and other authorisations which enable the establishment of a lawful, regulated industry for ganja for medical, therapeutic and scientific purposes.

Mind yuh, it nuh implement yet as Minister Peter Bunting told everyone in Parliament. He said regulations would have to be developed and a Cannabis Licensing Authority established. However, looong before the law was debated, me and other non-smoking, law-abiding folk were getting choked by the fumes. For me, this was especially when I went to sporting events. Wonder if that's why I enjoyed the games? Hmm. On a serious note, the whole situation was really ridiculous. Security personnel could be mere feet away from someone partaking of the weed, and it wouldn't make any difference.

But that's how we do things in Jamaica. We have laws, whether we think they're farcical or not is irrelevant. The law is the law. But it's like we prosecute when we feel like. A group of bikers will fly past police patrols, with none of the riders (or pillions for that matter) wearing a helmet. By law, every single one of them should receive a ticket. But away they go, free like birds to potentially fall off the bikes and suffer major head trauma. And then everybody shows up on the television crying.

Littering? Give me a break. Police personnel may nearly get hit by the juice box being tossed, they ain't ticketing nobody. Urinating in public? C'mon officer, why do you think the man is leaning against the wall? Here's a hint, he's not sleeping.

By the way, do you have any idea just how many people think marijuana is (a) completely legal and (b) that you can start growing it for selling purposes right now? I've heard experts yelling that there needs to be a public education. No, people just need to read the full newspaper/online articles and listen the entire news item on the radio/television. Most of them the minute they hear the tag words 'legalised', 'weed' and 'two ounces', they start celebrating.

For all those who can't wait to light up, do yourself a favour. Read the law in full first. And don't use the paper it's printed on to roll a joint afterwards. Later

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