While not supporting a resolution in support of the decriminalisation of marijuana yesterday for recreational and medicinal use, Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris has admitted to having smoked the weed as a youngster.
The mayor made his revelations at yesterday's regular monthly meeting of the St James Parish Council following the resolution, which was presented by Councillor of the Montego Bay South Division, Suzette Brown. Eleven of the 13 councillors present at the meeting, except Councillor of the Rose Hall Division, Jason Cummings, and Harris, voted in favour of the resolution.
"Let me add my pound of flesh to it. As a young man, many years ago, I followed some that were older than I was then and experimented with marijuana. So I am speaking from the point of an ex-user of marijuana. Thanks be to God, I was not caught by the law enforcers - and they say confession is good for the soul - but thanks be to God that I realised early that I should do nothing that is illegal," Harris said.
"Therefore, I quit the habit because I believe that I should not do anything that I have to hide and do. Subsequently, I grew to realise that it was the best move I made and the best decision to quit the use of marijuana before it was too late."
Harris told the meeting he was particularly concerned as a large number of psychiatric cases could be traced to marijuana use.
"I lost a best friend because he consumed marijuana soaked in 'John Crow' rum, and from that time until the day he disappeared, he was never the same, so I am just warning," he added.
"We are losing a complete generation because of the use of marijuana in this country. We know of the medical values, but the way marijuana is being used at this time, is a dangerous, dangerous matter. As far as I am concerned, I don't want those ignorant persons to be criminally charged, but I am saying that we need to save the future of this country and ensure that they are not brought to the level where marijuana is an acceptable thing to use," he said.