November 28, 2013 - Kingston, Jamaica:
A majority of Jamaicans said they have used ganja sometime in the past and are in support of the decriminalisation of personal ganja use with an even larger majority in favour of Government supporting the use of ganja for medicinal purposes. These are just some of the findings in a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey commissioned by the Professor the Honourable Henry Lowe led Biotech R&D Institute and Pelican Publishers and carried out by prominent Pollster Don Anderson and his company Market Research Services.
The survey's findings were made available today at Press launch at the redeveloped Eden Garden Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston, Jamaica. Fieldwork for the survey was conducted during October and early November 2013 and involved interviews with approximately 500 persons aged 18 years and over in all parishes.
Professor Henry noted that the study is the first of its kind in Jamaica and extended into the uses of herbs outside of marijuana. He also stated that, "the results of the study could provide significant and enlightening information on the uses of marijuana and also provide important information to aid policymakers in their decision-making on the subject. The results could also help local scientists and doctors to understand how marijuana is being used locally, inform on research areas for the potential uses of medical marijuana and also provide information on possible products that can be developed from marijuana".
Among the major findings of the study on the ganja side are:
· 57% of all persons claim to have used Ganja at some time in the past.
· 55% are in favour of relaxing the laws so that it is no longer a criminal offense to use Ganja.
· The predominant use appears to have been to smoke it with 66% claiming to have done so. 61% have used it as a drink.
· 39% claim to no longer use Ganja, but 38% say they still smoke it and 34% use it as a drink.
· 6% also use it in food, 6% as a balm and 5% use it to wash their hair
· 86% feel that Government should support the use of Ganja for medicinal purposes
· 82% say they would be more inclined to use Ganja for medicinal purposes
Professor Henry Lowe in arguing the case for medical marijuana stated that, "Since the turn of the 21st century there has been increased recognition and public support for medical marijuana. This has resulted in major institutions in science and medicine being forced to state their positions on the subject. For example, the American Medical Association in 2009 expressed its support for R&D in medical marijuana and urged the National Institutes of Health to provide funding for research into the medical utility of marijuana."
Medical Marijuana he said is known to treat a variety of illnesses including insomnia, anxiety, vomiting and nausea, pain and certain types of cancer. He noted that given Jamaica's history with ganja, we could be the hub for medical marijuana in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Medical marijuana Professor Lowe noted "could have a multiplier effect by catalyzing other industries such as health and wellness tourism, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries, agriculture and even the pharmaceutical industry and ultimately transform Jamaica's fledgling economy."
For more information contact:
Professor Henry Lowe
Biotech R&D Limited
(Ask for Ms. Nikeisha Lee)