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Jamaica debates making marijuana legal

JAMAICAN MP Raymond Pryce yesterday called for the House of Representatives to consider and debate the issue of decriminalisation of marijuana on the Caribbean island.

Pryce, in giving notice of the motion during yesterday's sitting of the House, said members should consider it a human rights issue.

He said many of Jamaica's trading partners who once held very strict and rigid views have changed their positions.

Pryce said criminal records haunt thousands of Jamaicans and their families and suggested that the Parliament debate the practicality of a prescribed amount of marijuana at which or below which there would be no criminal prosecution for the possession for personal use.

The motion moved by Pryce follows a suggestion by Government Senator Angela Brown Burke in the Senate last Friday that the use of marijuana be legalised for medical reasons.

"These are discussions that we need to have. There are other states and other countries that are way more advanced than we are because they have taken that bold step to step forward," Brown Burke said.

She added: "I believe that we need to put it in a framework that allows them to participate legally in the economy and I believe that is an opportunity we should not miss."

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