Government urged to declare amnesty on marijuana arrests

The Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association is urging the Government of Jamaica to immediately declare an amnesty on all arrests for uncompressed ganja under one pound. 

The call is being made in light of the recent incident in which Mario Deane, was beaten while in police custody for possession of a spliff. Deane died a few days later from his injuries.   

The Ganja Future Growers Association said the Government, through parliament, must institute the amnesty until reforms of the ganja law are completed.      

The call also comes with the request that the penalties for those arrested and convicted for illegal export of ganja be drastically increased. 

The Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association said the ongoing situation of arresting, locking up and giving persons convicted for the smoking and possession of ganja a criminal record, is senseless, cruel and unjust and can only be deemed a wicked act of the Jamaican state over the decades.                                                        

Meanwhile, the Interim Chairman of the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, Orville Silvera, says if the government gives a directive to the police to cease making arrests for up to a pound of ganja, deaths similar to that suffered by Mario Deane can be avoided in the future.

“Not even for a pound of ganja should somebody’s life be lost after being arrested… it is a tragedy that one must be paining over while at the same time ensuring that it does not occur again,” he said.

Silvera says the government should return to Parliament this week for an emergency session to declare the amnesty.

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