Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Letter of the Day | Ganja train heading for deadly precipice

Published:Wednesday | March 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Regardless of the many learned Jamaicans who support the idea of making ganja accessible to all and sundry, I will remain one of the few(?) who believe that the path we have taken on the ganja freedom train is one that bodes no good for our young people.

Having lived in New York for several years, I saw first-hand what early use of ganja did to many of our young people in the five boroughs and to the lives of the parents who brought their children to America, hoping for a better life for them. Several of the young men ended up in the mental wards of King's County Hospital. Today, those men are leading marginal lives in those places.

What I have observed is that many of these learned persons who have embraced ganja use with open arms were raised in homes where the use of the drug was not permitted. If their parents were around today, they would hang their heads in shame.

These people see nothing wrong in watching our youth rub out the palm of their hands with ganja and damage their brain cells so that they cannot ever become productive members of society.

Is it that these people have become so cold that they cannot see the dangers posed to our young people? Maybe what they need to do is to interview our teachers to find out how they are faring in educating the young people who are entering classrooms high on ganja. How comfortable are these teachers having such disruptive students around? Are they progressing? How does their behaviour affect the ones who are serious about their education?

In the end, it will be the greed of gain that will destroy our country! But as we jump on the bandwagon for medical marijuana, and as we follow the rich countries in the widespread use of this drug, please bear in mind that we don't have the capacity to provide the treatment that our ganja-smoking young men and women will need in a little while from now.

Wherever we go with the decision on ganja's prominence in our country, let me thank those who have spoken out about our folly. Hats off to Dr Winston De La Haye and Health Minister Chris Tufton.