While the bill to decriminalize marijuana in Jamaica continues to snarl its way through Government processes, Alaska became the third state in the United States to legalize the herb. We are not talking about decriminalized marijuana, we are talking about legalized marijuana, the way Peter Tosh, one of Jamaica’s favorite sons envisioned it.
Alaskans age 21 and older may now legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow as many as six marijuana plants in their homes and possess any additional marijuana produced by those plants.
“State laws allowing adults to use marijuana are becoming less and less of a novelty,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for drug policy reform group Marijuana Policy Project. “It won’t be long before it’s the rule instead of the exception nationwide. Colorado and Washington are proving that regulating marijuana works, and soon Alaska will, too.”
The Marijuana Policy Project, a backer of the Alaska ballot measure, is launching a public education campaign reminding marijuana users to “consume responsibly,” with ads that read: “With great marijuana laws comes great responsibility.”
“Most adults use marijuana for the same reasons most adults use alcohol,” Tvert said. “We want them to keep in mind that it carries the same responsibilities.”
Voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., passed similar marijuana laws last year, joining Colorado and Washington state, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and opened retail shops in 2014.
Oregon’s law is scheduled to go into effect later this year. D.C.’s law, which prohibits retail sales, is expected to take effect later this week, when a congressional review period expires.
The main reason marijuana was illegal in Jamaica was because of pressure from the United States. Now citizens of the United States can either legally smoke in their own state or drive across state line to enjoy marijuana. While in Jamaica, citizens continue to be harassed, abused and even killed for using marijuana. What a shame.
Wake up Jamaica!