Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Mon October 12 2015

Negril to Host Marijuana-Themed Event Following Drug’s Decriminalization

Destination & Tourism | Brian Major | October 12, 2015

Negril to Host Marijuana-Themed Event Following Drug’s Decriminalization

With marijuana use now decriminalized in Jamaica, entrepreneurs are organizing marijuana-themed events designed to attract international travelers. High Times magazine is partnering with the organizers of the Rastafari Rootzfest to host the High Times 2015 Jamaican World Cannabis Cup in Negril November 12 to 15.

An annual marijuana trade show and competition series held in several international cities, High Times’ Jamaican World Cannabis Cup marks the event’s debut on the island. Slated to be held at Long Bay Beach Park in Negril’s Seven Mile Beach section, the Jamaican Cannabis Cup competition will gather and rank the best locally produced marijuana from farmers in each Jamaican parish, according to organizers.

Cannabis Cup organizers have arranged with Jamaican resorts including Couples Negril, Riu Palace Tropical Bay resort, Merrils Beach Resort and Fun Holiday Beach Hotel to offer packages that combine stays with Cannabis Cup event tickets.

Rastafari Rootzfest is described as a “celebration of Rastafari ideology and culture,” as well as the recent decriminalization of marijuana in Jamaica, according to the event’s organizers. The Rootzfest is also the groups’ first since the government “legally recognized Rastafari sacramental and religious rites earlier this year.”

In April, Mark Golding, Jamaica’s justice minister, announced that people in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would not be arrested or given a criminal record under amendments to the country’s Dangerous Drugs Act. Violators can instead be fined and issued a ticket. He said successful implementation of the new law “will require the discretion” and judgment of police.”

Interestingly, in May Jamaican security minister Peter Bunting instructed the country’s police force to “turn a blind eye” to persons either smoking marijuana publicly or found to be in possession of less than two ounces of the drug. Bunting said Jamaica Constabulary Force members did not yet have tickets available to issue to violators. 

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