Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Legalizing marijuana has become the topic of discussion in recent years. In the United States alone, legislators have made medical marijuana legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Of those states, Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Joining the movement is the Caribbean island Jamaica.

On Tuesday, at a news conference Minister of Justice Senator Mark Golding told reporters that lawmakers should make possession of two ounces or less a petty, ticketable offense before the end of 2014, according to the Associated Press.

Golding also stated the government will be decriminalizing marijuana for religious purposes and that should be completed before the end of the year. For those of you unaware, followers of the Rastafarian spiritual movement smoke the drug as a religious ritual.

Jamaica is also looking into creating laws specifically for medical marijuana. It is a more complex sector to undertake, but Golding hopes to make amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, a law to regulate the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale and use of opium and other dangerous drugs, by sometime in 2015.

Golding believes Jamaica is making progress to decriminalize marijuana in a “measured way” and “remains fully committed” to battling drug traffickers.

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