Ganja Beyond Smoke
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The debate is raging worldwide as more states and countries change their perspective on this once illicit herb, and Jamaica has been dipping their toes in the controversy.
Artists claim that after smoking marijuana, their creative juices flow more abundantly. There’s a boost to feelings of pleasure like sexual drive, intelligent enlightenment, clarity, and appetite, with an overall reduction of inhibition. On the flip side, it can cause paranoia, disoriented thinking, memory disruption, and anxiety attacks.
In the 1970s, the potency of marijuana averaged just around 1%, now it averages 13%, and we’re constantly on the lookout for that strain that will bring us the best high. Experts say this is where the lines tend to get blurred when advocating for the good in marijuana.
The user who only wants to get high is obsessed with higher heights. While marijuana overdose is currently not a concern, addiction is. THC is the chemical that causes the high, while the CBD in marijuana has been praised for helping ailments such as Lupus, Crohn’s Disease, Epilepsy, chronic pain, and cancer.
Economic debates also rage on. Could the medical marijuana market help to stabilize the Jamaican economy? The revenue from a single marijuana plant is thought to be around $2,200 US, and it is estimated that over 38,000 acres of ganja fields are now grown in Jamaica. Advocates lobby that this should be controlled in a safe, legal manner and capitalized upon.
Whatever side of the divide you fall on, the conversation is happening and science is slowly backing up claims that pot-smokers have been suggesting for years. What we do know, is that more research is needed and regulations will help to guide those who seek the herb for its now established medicinal properties.
Where does Jamaica currently stand?
Since the law was passed, it is now legal to carry less than 2 ounces of ganja. You may be ticketed if it’s found by an officer, but will only be fined as a result. All public smoking is illegal in Jamaica, and this will carry a much stronger punishment. If you have a prescription for medicinal marijuana, you may be able to have it honored at some point here, but we’re not there yet. Currently, a Cannabis Licensing Authority is being created and studies have been given the green light.
In summary, here are the facts:
● In the 1970s, the potency of marijuana averaged just around 1%, now it averages 13%.
● THC is the name given to the chemical in the plant responsible for the high while CBD is hailed for the medicinal benefits.
● Studies reveal that both components are needed to have a medicinal effect.
● CBD has been praised for alleviating various ailments such as pain and cancer.
● It is estimated that over 38,000 acres of ganja fields are now grown in Jamaica.
● There are over 180.6 million marijuana smokers worldwide.
● The revenue from a single marijuana plant is estimated to be $2,200 US.
● You can now legally carry less than 2 ounces of the herb on your person in Jamaica.
- by Monique Solomon