Jamaica Wants to Legalize Pot, Ditch the Queen

That's some 2016-2017 agenda—and there's more
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2016 10:15 AM CDT
Jamaica Wants to Legalize Pot, Ditch the Queen
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves in a car after attending an Easter service at Windsor Castle in England, Sunday, March 27, 2016.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Jamaican lawmakers have apparently had a lot on their minds lately, as per the government's just-released 2016-2017 legislative agenda, with proposals including amending the country's constitution to dump Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and make Jamaica a republic, scheduling fixed election dates, ensuring term limits for the PM, revamping the tax and pension setup—and (in what may be of most interest to those stateside) making marijuana legal for "specified purposes," Bloomberg reports. Whew! These measures and others, announced in a speech to Parliament by Governor-General Patrick Allen on the government website, would need to get Parliament's OK before becoming the law of the land.

As the Jamaica Observer explains, making the nation a republic would involve putting in place a non-executive president, who would be more of a figurehead and wouldn't play a policymaking role. But "he or she could use discretionary powers for extraordinary political intervention, based on the Constitution." As for the pot proposal, no word on what exactly those "specified purposes" would entail. (A Bob Marley-inspired novel won the Booker Prize for Fiction.)

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