Jamaica's Deputy Prime Minister, Kenneth Baugh said at the beginning of this month, that a seven-member government commission, charged with researching possible changes to the country's laws that deem marijuana illegal, is now preparing to report to the Prime Minister on the matter.
Reported as once more considering the legalization of marijuana by the Associated Press, the Jamaican Government re-visits an issue that was put on hold back in 2003.
A government commission recommended the legalization of marijuana in small amounts for personal use back then, but this was never acted on, since legislators then said it might infringe on US relations, and could result in Jamaica losing their US anti-drug certification.
While their neighbours to the north in Canada openly grant medical marijuana to those citizens in need of relief from pain, nausea and other ailments, the US upholds the threat of economic sanctions on countries who lose their anti-drug certification.
Rastafarians in Jamaica have long lobbied for the legalization of marijuana, a substance they recognize as having many advantageous uses. Beside the fact that its derivatives have become key components in prescribed drugs and manufactured items, marijuana is for Rastafarians, a substance that affords them greater closeness [in meditation] to the divine.
There are close to 1 million Rastafarians in the world and most of them live in Jamaica that has a population of 2.6 million.