[look, I know that "ganja" is a legitimate word, misappropriated for dishonorable purposes from another culture, and its use in america reflects on americans, not jamaicans. however, I hereby give all americans the right to chuckle -- briefly -- at the name "national ganja commission"]

A seven-member panel, commissioned by the government of Jamaica, to provide advice on future directions for the nation's drug policy. They recently (as of 09/06/01) released a major report in which they firmly advised the liberalization of existing drug penalties and substantial relegalization of marijuana for all uses.

Their judgement is based on interviews with ~400 people from "all walks of life" and on "reviews of the most up-to-date body of medical and scientific research". The report states that "The practice of criminalising the users of small quantities does far more harm than good to the society" and "is a major source of disrespect and contempt for the legal system as a whole." These statements are given weight not just by their own procedure, but by the frequency with which these conclusions have been drawn by similar studies in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and many other nations.

The commission:

Professor Barry Chevannes (Chair)
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, U.W.I., Mona

Dr. Eileen Goldson
Deputy Chairperson, National Council on Drug Abuse

Reverend Webster Edwards
Operation Friendship

Ms. Norma Linton

Mr. Dimario McDowell
Graphic Artist / Music Promoter

Mrs. Barbara Smith

Mr. Tony Freckleton
Mandeville Publishers Ltd.