Bunny Wailer wants to enter the sector as a legal marijuana grower and did not claim to illegally farm the drug.
“As the surviving member of The Wailers, I have 142 acres and I am going to plant ganja,” said Wailer, an organizer of the eastern chapter of the National Council of the Ganja Industry, through the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association.
Bunny Wailer gave a statement as a member of the audience at a forum on ganja on Tuesday at the University of the West Indies, Mona. His three-minute statement embodied the crux of the over three-hour long forum on legalization. His comments received applause from the over 150-strong audience many of whom videoed his comments on their phones.
Bunny Wailer, the founding member of the most renowned reggae band which included Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, also spoke of the frustration of politicians to legalize the drug despite its recent decriminalization in Jamaica.
“I ‘dandada’ Bunny Wailer will always be searching for and looking for ways and means of legalizing ganja for the benefit of all Jamaican people, especially Rastafarians who have been identified with Ganja,” he said at the forum entitled Guilty Drug Innocent Plant, which was jointly produced by the Department of Economics, Mona School of Business and Management and the Law Faculty. It discussed the legal, economic and business implications of legalizing marijuana in Jamaica.
“There are people who are benefiting from ganja who are politicians but yet as politicians they have not made any effort for the legalization of ganja,” he said.
The forum moderated by Dashan Hendricks of TVJ News included panelists Dr Andre Haughton who spoke on the economic implications of legalization, Dr Kadamawhe Knife on the ganja business model, Clyde Williams on ramifications on legalization of ganja, and Wanda James on the US experience as a legal seller in the US state of Colorado.
“There is a serious responsibility to ganja. To ensure that children and the next generation do not end up fighting for the legalization of ganja,” Bunny Wailer added.
The business of ganja quickly gained legitimacy amid its legalization in the US states of Colorado and Washington. The Government in summer drafted legislation to decriminalize small quantities of ganja, whilst also modifying the Dangerous Drugs Act, in order to set rules for the cultivation and use of medical ganja and industrial hemp. The Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association was officially launched in April as momentum swelled toward relaxing laws prohibiting the use of the plant in Jamaica.