Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Give poor youth chance at getting ganja licence

Published:Tuesday | November 6, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am deeply concerned by the approach the Government is taking with regard to the production/growth of cannabis in Jamaica.

The issuing of licences to specific operators, based on financial capability, is a danger to the local producers and to the country in the long run. This approach will eventually flush the locals out of the business and cause more unemployment and limit opportunities.

During my youthful years growing up in Westmoreland, there was a great demand for pimento. Merchants would set up distribution hubs, wherein the pimento could be sold to these hubs. Hub owners would, in turn, sell it to the designated manufacturers.

The pimento leaves were also purchased via the same methodology, which was a source of income for me during the summer break from school. Some merchants would drive around in an effort to acquire the pimento and leaves.

I say that to say this: If the Government can duplicate that methodology of establishing such hubs for drop-off and distribution of locally grown cannabis, this would allow for the continuation of a source of income for our youth.

The Government should form an alliance with such youths by educating them on proper growing procedures and teach them how to forge linkages with each other to improve their crop yield and the outcome of their investment. This, I assure you, would be a win-win situation for the entire country across many spectrums.

Allowing folks with deep pockets to financially muscle youth out of the ganja business will only result in future problems. Weigh the cost of resolving such problems against the cost of taking a bold step of working with our youth.

Where the leaders lack vision, the people perish.

KHANI JAMES

kjames@buffaloschools.org

Buffalo, NY 14202