Laying down the law with cannabis

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Anger, grief as Britain marks Grenfell fire anniversary 8:08 pm Cannabis, known locally as ganja, originated as a remedial herb and gained prominence in ancient medicine for centuries. Despite its extensive history, for decades it has been classified as a dangerous drug in the eyes of international regulatory bodies and legislation. This includes the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO), where cannabis is characterised as a narcotic drug in the three major drug control conventions: • The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 • The Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 • The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988. Cannabis was also declared a Schedule 1 drug in 1970 under the US Controlled Substances Act, which classifies it as having no currently accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. However, with advocacy for the plant at its highest, the legal statutes surrounding cannabis are undergoing major changes in favour of loosening restrictions globally. Jamaica’s Journey TOWARDS LEGALISATION The first steps taken by the Government to deliberate the decriminalisation of cannabis included a national commission conducted in 2000 that was led by Professor Barry Chevannes, then dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of the West Indies. Laying down the law with cannabis

thumbnail courtesy of jamaicaobserver.com

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