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'Jamaica could find itself importing ganja from US'

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 12:43 PM

Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

A leading proponent of drug policy reform says Jamaica could pay a heavy price for its years of adherence to demands from the United States if it fails to exercise greater urgency in local ganja reform policies.

Executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Dr Ethan Nadelmann says the country is far behind on medical research on ganja.

He says if something isn't done soon, Jamaica could find itself importing ganja from the United States in the next 10 years.

According to the outspoken professor, half of the US has now made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes; with millions of Americans now receiving the drug through recommendations from medical doctors.

There are also thousands of dispensaries, shops and stores selling marijuana legally, with millions of dollars in tax revenues going into US government coffers.

Nadelmann is urging local policy makers to act quickly to decriminalise weed as Jamaica could be the pioneer for drug reform in the region.

Nadelmann was speaking recently during a Negril Chamber of Commerce fundraising gala at the Couples Swept Away resort in Westmoreland.

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