The Global Commission on Drug Policy has launched the Global Drug Policy Index (GDPI) on Monday, in which Jamaica has been ranked at 15th position out of 30 countries.
This index provides every country with a score from – 0 to 100, where 100 represents the full adjustment of a selected centre of drug policies and their implementation with the United Nations recommendations on human rights, health & development.
The island has been given a score of 48 out of 100. Jamaica scored
19 in harm reduction, 35 in access to medicines and 39 in the area of development, while for ‘absence of extreme responses’ and ‘proportionality and criminal justice, it scored 76 and 65 respectively.
The local representative and vice-chair of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) – Vicki Hanson, while giving an instance of Jamaica’s ganja industry, stated that the island has made very few efforts in terms of development.
Hanson noted that Jamaica is lacking behind in the developmental policies (related to drugs issue), noting that the cannabis policy was pulled from under the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act of 2015.
“When you look at the index and the index speaks about development, we score at 72/100 (for the management of crop eradication). This is in part fuelled by the fact that we continue to destroy ganja fields, even fields of licensed growers. By removing ganja from the Dangerous Drugs Act, we can begin to develop a regulated policy. So, it is not free for everyone, but much like how you would have policies for how we use tobacco and alcohol,” following the statement, Hanson added.
The index shows that Jamaica needs to work on its drug policies and the government must make more stringent polices to tackle drug gangs in the country. The drug industry is also one of the major issue behind hike in the crimes.