San Juan, Apr 20 (EFE).- Seeds for the first legal marijuana crop were sown at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica on Monday, a few days after the amendments to the bill decriminalizing marijuana for medicinal and religious purposes came into effect.
In a statement, UWI said that Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell presented the appropriate license to the principal of the regional institution, Prof. Archibald McDonald, giving the university permission to cultivate marijuana for research purposes.
Following the license presentation, several marijuana seeds were then planted in front of the Faculty of Medical Sciences on campus and McDonald said it was now time for the university "to apply and ensure that we de-mystify ganja."
"We need to use scientific evidence to counter the misinformation that is taking place," McDonald said, adding it was important to "use scientific evidence to really inform the Jamaican public."
Two educational institutions in Jamaica, including UWI, were set to receive licenses to grow marijuana for medical research purposes.
The licenses issued to universities are for a specified time period and research activities will be subject to supervision.
Possession of two ounces (about 57 grams) or less of marijuana will be treated as an administrative offense subject to a ticket, not a crime and the establishment of a Cannabis Licensing Authority is included among the amendments to the 1984 Dangerous Drugs Act.