Studies Done on Marijuana in Jamaica

Hundreds of studies have been done around the world in areas relevant to the current discussions on marijuana decriminalisation. The findings of some of these studies, both local and international, have been used by some proponents to bolster their calls for changes to Jamaica’s marijuana legalisation, and by opponents to support the current laws.

Find out more about some of these studies below. 

Professor Henry Lowe, co-author of Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja: The Jamaican and Global Connection


Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja: The Jamaican and Global Connection – Pelican Publishers (2013)

Henry Lowe; Errol Morrison

SUMMARY: The purpose of this book is not to persuade or encourage the reader to join either side of the debate over legalizing marijuana use, but rather to inform by presenting the history and socio-cultural impact of this controversial plant. The primary focus of the book is the current research on the medical and therapeutic aspects of ganja. It should be noted that the title of the book Ganja: The Jamaican Connection is designed not only to give a world view on the subject but the scientific and socio-cultural uses as they relate to Jamaica through narrative illustrations.

Decriminalization of marijuana: Is this a realistic public mental health policy for Jamaica? West Indian Medical Journal (2011)

WD Abel; C Sewell; D Eldemire-Shearer – Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies, Mona

ABSTRACT: Marijuana has potential benefits and adverse effects. Despite its popularity in Jamaica, decriminalization may not be possible given the international and regional obligations of Jamaica.

The Prevalence of Marijuana Smoking in Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease – West Indian Medical Journal (2006)

J Knight-Madden; N Lewis; IR Hambleton

Background: The active ingredients of marijuana may have beneficial properties in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation and is being used by sufferers of chronic pain and arthritis in some settings. Anecdotally, marijuana is believed by some sickle cell disease (SCD) patients to improve their health. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of marijuana smoking in the Jamaica Sickle Cell Cohort Study (JSCCS) in the years 2000 and 2004. The perception that marijuana use ameliorated the complications of SCD was also investigated.

A Report of the National Commission on Ganja to Rt Hon PJ Patterson, QC, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica (2001)

Professor Barry Chevannes, Chairman; Rev Dr Webster Edwards; Anthony Freckleton; Norma Linton, QC; DiMario McDowell; Dr Aileen Standard-Goldson; Barbara Smith

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The National Commission of Ganja, pursuant to its terms of reference and after a period of exhaustive consultation and inquiry from November 2000 to July 2001, involving some four hundred persons from all walks of life, including professional and influential leaders of society, is recommending the decriminalisation of ganja for personal, private use by adults and for use as a sacrament for religious purposes…

In Re Ganja: International law and the decriminalisation of marijuana in Jamaica West Indian Law Journal (2001)

Professor Stephen Vasciannie

ABSTRACT: Offers a legal response to the question whether it is possible for Jamaica to amend local legislation pertaining to the use of marijuana without contravening international conventions to which Jamaica is party. Analyses Jamaica’s obligations arising from the three international conventions on drug control to which it is now party, then examines the significance of denuncing these conventions which would seem to be required in order to decriminalise marijuana use and supply together. Concludes that Jamaica would need either to have relevant sections of the conventions amended or withdraw from all three conventions. In all likelihood, however, withdrawal would have serious economic consequences for Jamaica; for bearing in mind policies in vogue in the United States at the federal level, Jamaica would probably be decertified if it were to denounce its international obligations under the drug control treaties.

Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study (1994)

Melanie C Dreher, PhD; Kevin Nugent, PhD; Rebekah Hudgins, MA

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of marijuana (or ‘ganja’ as it is called in Jamaica) consumption during pregnancy and lactation on offspring during the neonatal period. Despite the prevalence of marijuana use among women of childbearing age, reports on the behavioral teratogenic effects of prenatal marijuana exposure have been conflicting and inconclusive.