Jamaican reggae artist Barrington Levy is calling on CARICOM countries to legalize marijuana.
The Collie Weed singer made the short plea during his performance at the Reggae on the Hill show on Sunday.
“It is a shame that the US and other parts of the world free up marijuana but we sit here and not freeing it up. People, if you want to see marijuana free, let me hear you say whoa!. . . ” he said, much to the delight of the crowd.
Since the legalization of ganja in some parts of the world, there have been a number of calls from various sections of society for the drug to be decriminalized in the region. However, a number of interest groups including church leaders and health sector representatives have cautioned against the move.
Following his performance at the Reggae Festival, in a short interview with Barbados TODAY, the Ragga Muffin singer said that he wanted to see ganja legalized “right now” because it was an opportunity for the region to meet the demands of the other countries that have legalized it.
“All CARICOM islands [should legalize it]. That is the best thing we can ever do,” he said. “They legalizing it in all the other countries and using it for medical purposes. So why don’t we do it? We have the climate for the best weed growth anyway,” said Levy.
At the end of February this year, Jamaica passed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, particularly in the area of medicinal use. The Jamaican government is hoping to see significant economic gains from the move.
At their inter-sessional summit earlier this year, CARICOM heads of government established a regional commission to study the issue of marijuana legalization.