A highly placed Jamaican lawmaker called over the weekend for the decriminalization of marijuana possession. Sen. Dennis Meadows, deputy secretary general for the governing Jamaica Labor Party, made the call before parliament Friday and elaborated on it Saturday.
Prosecuting people for possessing a spliff is also a waste of valuable law enforcement resources, he said. "Decriminalization, among other things, will serve to free up the police resources and the already stressed justice system to focus on more serious crimes," Meadows insisted.
Meadows cited the 2001 National Commission on Ganja report, which also called for decriminalization. Although that report was presented to parliament and then Prime Minister PJ Patterson, movement toward decrim withered under loud US protests. Debate on the report should be reopened, Meadows told his colleagues.
On Saturday, Meadows issued a statement reiterating his stance. "What I am advocating is that ganja, at the level of spliffs for private use, be treated similarly to a traffic ticket," Meadows said.
That would be a good start for one of the most marijuana-friendly cultures on the planet. Let's see if the rest of Jamaica's political class is listening.