Until very recently, smoking weed was completely illegal in Jamaica.
But in 2015, the law changed, and individuals are now allowed to have a small amount of ganja for personal use. Medical sales are allowed, and permits for larger farming operations are also being granted – slowly.
The ganja industry will undoubtedly generate a lot of money – especially from tourists, who will be looking to partake in a bit of authentic Jamaican weed.
But this raises the question: who is going to profit from this? Jamaicans, or somebody else?
Since 2015, Jamaica has become the site of a ganja gold rush, as foreign investors pump in money and set up shop on the island. Smaller local farmers, many of whom were being harassed and punished for growing in the past, simply can’t compete.
Some locals see this as another extension of colonial inaction.
“I’m not saying all of these investors coming in are evil,” says Ras Iyah V, an activist who has been fighting for ganja legalization for years.
“I’m just saying most of these coming in are concerned with money. About making money out of an industry that our people have suffered for.”
VICE News visited Jamaica to find out what the future of ganja is on the island.
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