Wed | Oct 5, 2022

Westmoreland ganja farmers to launch own association

Published:Friday | February 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Western Bureau:

Renowned Rastafarian elder Ras Iyah V, who serves on the Rastafari Millennium Council and is chairman of the Rastafari Coral Gardens Committee, says he will be spearheading the formation of a Westmoreland Ganja Farmers' Association, which is separate from the proposed national body.

"I see no guarantee that the interest of those of us who have borne the brunt of the victimisation - even prison sentences for ganja - will be represented by the national body," he said.

In an open letter to then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, which was published in The Gleaner on January 15, 2006; Ras Iyah V, who was instrumental in the 1996 Ganja March in Kingston, made an impassioned plea for the decriminalisation of ganja.

While declaring that he was not opposed to the formation of the national body, Ras Iyah V said its sudden emergence was cause for concern, as its motivation could well have been sparked by the financial windfall being experienced by Colorado from the sale of legal recreational ganja

"Where were these people when P.J. Patterson did not even acknowledge our letter in 2006?" Ras Iyah V asked.

"Where were these people when we had the 1996 Ganja March? Where were these people when our people were being given prison time for a spliff?"

With the firm conviction that he will not be allowing others to determine the fate of ganja stakeholders in Westmoreland, Ras Iyah V said details of the formation of Westmoreland Ganja Farmers' Association would be announced on Sunday, February 23, at an event to honour reggae star Peter Tosh at Belmont, Westmoreland.