St Philip North MP Dr Sonia Browne has sought to clarify statements she made yesterday in Parliament on reggae icon Bob Marley and his drug use.
Speaking during the debate on the amendment of the National Council on Substance Abuse Bill, Browne took issue with some residents “romanticising” the ongoing Buju Banton Long Walk to Freedom tour and suggested the reggae star should not viewed as a role model.
With respect to Marley, Browne said: “we’ve got to change the focus. Yes, there were the Bob Marleys of the world. I love him too, but the perspective of young people, they use him as an example that marijuana does nothing.
“Not everybody can benefit from the clarity that I assume he exhibited from marijuana use. Not many people can belt out the lyrics that he did. In fact, the majority can’t, but we need to change the focus and move to a different role model.”
But today, Browne said that she was using Marley’s use of marijuana to make a point about the effect of the drug and was not suggesting that he should not be a role model.
She said: “What I was trying to say is that when I sit down and talk to young people about the dangers of marijuana, they often point out that nothing ever happen to Bob Marley when he used it.
“But I always have to point out that people react differently to marijuana. For instance… lots of the inmates at the Psychiatric hospital has been placed in there because of marijuana-induced psychosis.
“What might not harm some people, could be very detrimental to others. So that is the point I want to get across in respect of Bob Marley.
“I admire Bob Marley. I think he was one of the greatest artistes ever and he put the Caribbean and the Jamaica on the map,” Browne said.