Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Tufton to announce enhanced public education campaign amid children ganja use reports

Published:Monday | April 10, 2017 | 9:44 AM
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is to announce in his Sectoral Debate contribution in Parliament later this month, an enhanced public education campaign on drug use as new reports indicate that children, some under two years old, are turning up at hospitals with marijuana in their bloodstream.

Consultant paediatrician at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Dr Tracy Evans-Gilbert, says she has had to treat children who ingested the drug that was sometimes left within their reach. 

There have also been reports that ganja is being added to some sweets which are then sold to students.

All these reports follow the 2015 liberalisation of Jamaica's drugs law which included the decriminalisation of the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.

READ: Weed woes — Babies less than two years old among those taken to hospitals with ganja-related illnesses

Tufton says the misuse highlights the need for an enhanced public education campaign around the ganja policy, which, he said, the authorities have failed to do. 

 

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton

A ticketing system to punish those caught with less than two ounces of ganja has not been implemented.

Meanwhile, Tufton says there is also the need for sensitisation among medical practitioners to pursue more checks when they suspect marijuana usage.

 

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton

The health minister has said there is a 50 per cent jump in the number of children seeking assistance at public medical facilities for ganja-related illnesses since 2015.