Caribbean

Caribbean, West African nations to study decrim

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanAt the semi-annual summit of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), held July 1-4 in Antigua, regional leaders agreed to establish a commission to review marijuana policy and assess the need for reforms. The communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting stated: "Heads of Government agreed to establish a Regional Commission on Marijuana to conduct a rigorous enquiry into the social, economic, health and legal issues surrounding marijuana use in the Region and to advise whether there should be a change in the current drug classification of marijuana, thereby making the drug more accessible for a range of users." Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who pushed to get the issue on the agenda as chair of CARICOM, said: "It seems to me counterproductive to ignore the potential of an industry in respect of medical marijuana and to continue to expend police, national security, court resources on persons who consume a minuscule amount of marijuana in the privacy of their homes." (Drug Policy, July 7)

Jamaica moves closer to ganja decrim

Posted on June 17th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaribbeanFollowing months of speculation, Jamaica's Justice Minister Mark Golding on June 15 announced that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and her cabinet have approved changes to the Dangerous Drugs Act, decriminalizing "small quantities of ganja for personal use." Under the amended law, possession of up to 57 grams (2 ounces) would become an infraction, resulting only in a fine. Failure to pay the fine within 30 days would be a minor offense, punishable by a court order of community service. "Too many of our young people have ended up with criminal convictions after being caught with a spliff, something that has affected their ability to do things like get jobs and get visas to travel overseas," Golding said in his statement. Hearteningly, the law would be retroative, with a measure to expunge the criminal records of those convicted of personal possession. Another proposed measure would decriminalize ganja possession for religious or therapeutic purposes—leaving unclear what the permissible quantity would be in such cases. The cabinet is expected to submit the proposed changes to parliament in the coming weeks.

Jamaica to decriminalize ganja 'this year'?

Posted on March 8th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanThere has been mounting speculation in recent months that Jamaica is really about to finally decriminalize ganja (as it is ubiquitously called there, even in official circles). But now there has been something approaching official confirmation. A March 6 report on MercoPress news service cites a statement from Dealana Seiveright, leader of the Caribbean nation's Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT), in turn quoting a statement from Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell, who assured that "ganja will be decriminalized in Jamaica this year and emphasized that Jamaica cannot be allowed to be left behind on the issue."  Seiveright added: "He also reiterated the multiple economic, social and cultural benefits that Jamaica stands to gain if the laws are adjusted sooner rather than later."

Jamaica: cabinet prepares legalization initiative

Posted on October 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanJamaica's Justice Minister Mark Golding says his office is preparing an initiative to legalize cannabis in the island nation—pointing to the successful state initiatives in the US, traditionally the chief opponent of such efforts by Caribbean countries. "The Ministry of Justice is far advanced in developing a Cabinet submission with a view to reforming the laws relating to ganja," Golding told Jamaica's The Gleaner Oct. 7. "We have been working on that for some time now, and it's at an advanced stage, so Cabinet will get the opportunity to consider our recommendation and we will see whether the Cabinet is minded to move forward in the way that we have proposed."

Surinam strongman's son popped in Panama

Posted on September 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanOpposition legislators in Surinam are calling on President Desi Bouterse to resign following the arrest of his son by DEA agents in Panama Aug. 29. Dino Bouterse was was apparently travelling on a diplomatic passport when he was busted on charges of operating a cocaine trafficking ring. The US federal indictment, filed in Manhattan, also charges him with violating firearms laws by wielding an anti-tank weapon during a drug offense.

Coast Guard claims interception of 30th narco-submarine

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Central AmericaOn April 18, the US Coast Guard announced the interception of its 30th semi-submersible cocaine-smuggling vessel in less than six years, pointing to the widespread use of "narco-submarines" by traffickrs making their way up the Central American coast from Colombia. The Coast Guard said that two of its cutters, the Decisive and Pea Island, chased down the sub on March 30 in the western Caribbean, crediting collaboration with the Honduran navy. The Coast Guard released a photo of the sub's bow painted with shark's teeth as it disappeared beneath the waves. The crew scuttled the craft before they were taken into custody, sending their load to the bottom of the sea.

Belize broaches decriminalization

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Cannabis could soon be decriminalized in Belize following comments by Minister of Police and Public Safety Doug Singh that his ministry is preparing a paper exploring the idea to be presented to the Cabinet. Singh said that he is looking at removing criminal penalties for quantities under somewhere between five to seven grams. He emphasized that under the proposal, those caught with such personal quantities would still face a ticket and fine, and that legalization is not under consideration.

Jamaica: shock in Kingston as Dudus Coke cuts deal

Posted on September 4th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaribbeanResidents of Kington's poor district of Tivoli Gardens reacted with shock and disbelief to the news that extradited accused drug kingpin Christopher "Dudus" Coke arranged a plea bargain this week at Federal District Court in Manhattan. "I'm devastated," one anonymous member of the Coke clan told the Jamaica Gleaner. Scores were killed in days of street-fighting in the district last year as police and army troops were deployed to hunt down Coke for extradition to the US.

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