Mon | Feb 17, 2020

Praising Pryce for ganja gusto

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:The announcement by the justice minister, as carried in your online edition, regarding the decriminalisation of ganja, caught me by surprise. Even one of your recent editorials suggested that there were still major bridges to cross before such a development would come.

This has caused me to rethink my views on the delinquency of Parliament and parliamentarians in doing anything productive, in a timely manner, and in the interest of the ordinary people. Let no one underestimate the potential of the global cannabis industry for Jamaica's development.

In this regard, I lift my hat to first-term MP Raymond Pryce. As your editorial cited, Pryce brought the issue not just back on the agenda but to the point reached where a bill to reform the Dangerous Drugs Act will now come before the Parliament.

This is a remarkable achievement for a newcomer to Parliament, as persons such as Mike Henry and others, over many decades, were unable, for various reasons, to take it to this point.

The fact that bipartisan support was achieved is also to be celebrated. Look on the squabble regarding the Caribbean Court of Justice compared to the growing consensus regarding ganja. It surely brings sharply into focus the advantage of having younger minds with newer approaches involved in solving national issues.

Pryce has done surprisingly well on this issue. He has earned my respect and support. His interventions during the initial round of debates on the subject opened my mind to a new way of thinking about ganja.

I am now imagining openly what Jamaica could achieve if young emerging leaders like Pryce and Delano Seiveright were given greater roles and responsibilities in nation building.

One would hope that the prime minister and opposition leader would support the development of such talent, rather than bury them, as appears to be the case.


Mandeville, Manchester