Marijuana is the most-used drug among convicted and accused criminals in seven Caribbean countries, according to a new study from Jamaica’s National Council on Drug Abuse. “The highest proportion was reported in Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the lowest proportion was in St. Kitts and Nevis, while Jamaica reported approximately 75 percent of inmates used marijuana,” NCDA Research Analyst Uki Atkinson said in a statement. Conducted in 2014, the NCDA survey sought to explore the relationship between drugs and crime in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. Atkinson said that between 68 percent and 86 percent of all offenders had used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. This year, Jamaica decriminalized the use of marijuana for medicinal, research and religious purposes and made possession of up to 2 ounces of pot a minor offense subject to a ticket and fine. The updated law also mandates the creation of a Cannabis Licensing Authority that would grant permits for the cultivation, processing, distribution and sale of marijuana for medicinal, scientific and therapeutic purposes.
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