It is a typical saying through the grapevine that some prominent Jamaicans especially from the ethnic minorities were financiers or even dealers in marijuana. In a research for my upcoming book:Dry Harbour Mountain, the cradle of Jamaica’s export trade, almost all major small planters across the length and breadth of South West St. Ann have convinced me since 2001 ( 13 years of documentation) that the grown weed was purchased and exported by elements untouchable from Upper St. Andrew years before hippies and US mafia and ex-Vietnam fighters found their way to St. Ann hotels searching for those who grew the weed in Murray Mountains, Aboukir Woods, Nine Miles, Caarnie, Big Ruuinit, McKenzie, Bensonton, Pedro and a host of other villages in the lush hilly and verdant limestone hills and rolling plateau of middle Jamaica.
Then after years of exploiting the small ganja growers, being catapulted by the Colorado sale of the recreational and medicinal marijuana all sort of conspirators acting as men with honest intention are calling for corporate alliances to plant marijuana. Why were they silent when these small men were growing the weed, sacrificing their lives, getting arrested and convictions, and shunned by society including my villagers as they seen as”ganja men” (men violating the law for quick riches).
It is my opinion many of these so called Ganja growers Association members are those who have an agenda for control and exploitation for their own greedy ,selfish selves. I can also bet that many of them must have some knowledge or connection clandestinely involved or had made their wealth in yesteryear and now want to come into the light. Are these growers hoping on the passage of recent legislation in the US north west to legitimize their former involvement? Can the speak and tell the nation how they will catalyze production , help national development and narrow the social inequity prevailing in this society of class, colour, race and political tribalism? . Are they waiting on the ganja prohibition to do like what occurred in the USA when prohibition was abolished. It was that time all previous bootleggers, rum and whisky smugglers took their ill gotten wealth to provide capital for operations in Nevada, Arizona and in Sin City, Las vegas. We certainly read or by way of the movies learn of those who were involved in illicit liquor becoming enterprisig , men such as Charlie”lucky” Luciano , Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone fom the New York and Chicago crime families rinsing their money from previous shadowy activities.
I believe that the worst thing can happen to this marijuana in Jamaica is to legalize it. It will never benefit the marginalized . it will become another rich man and his political associates crop. Who will comprise these committees, certainly not the poor farmers. The spokesman benefiting from the financial windfall will be those who are in the middle class – lawyers, doctors, politicians, businessmen and academics. If these people have good intention , then the poverty and social problems riding this nation would not be present. If the forces of academic brilliance, business entrepreneurship and political chicanery cannot reduce the true employment figure from over 30%, then how an association of egoistic power will alleviate persistent poverty. It is all a dream , all a farce. Let the ganja remain illegal. Furthermore, more research needs to go into this drug pertaining to mental health. There are persons who brain have been damaged from smoking marijuana. There are many from my time at high school whose life had been shattered by not able to control their smoking appetite for the weed. Not every Jamaican is a ganja smoker and not every Jamaican relish marijuana. On a personal note , I took my daughter to shop downtown one Christmas and the ganja smoke by the elements from the ghetto was so heavy , the thick smoke permeated the air of the vendors shops and nearly knock out my daughter . I dared not ask those smoking to stop because they demeanour and behaviour were reflective of thugs.
I close with pleading with the government not to bow to a selfish group , because it will be another or additional plantocracy which will remind us daily of current slavery.
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