Jamaica lawmakers debate pot decriminalization

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaican lawmakers are debating a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

The debate comes amid renewed calls by some influential politicians and businessmen in Jamaica to loosen laws prohibiting pot, one of the island’s most famous exports.

There is no vote scheduled.

Tuesday’s debate centered on legislation introduced by governing party lawmaker Raymond Pryce. He says too many Jamaicans face a lifelong stigma that comes with a drug conviction involving a small amount of marijuana.

Pryce also argues there is academic and commercial potential in decriminalizing a plant that has long been part of Jamaica’s history.

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