Jamaica, 20 Apr 2015 – THE University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, planted its first legal ganja (marijuana) plant yesterday, symbolising its position as the pioneer in legally cultivating and researching the benefits of the drug in Jamaica.
Emotive adjectives coloured the presentations from government and university officials at the function marking the event, at the Agora Gardens, Faculty of Medical Sciences Teaching and Research Complex.
Minister of Science, Technology, Energy, and Mining Phillip Paulwell suggested that it was “a wonderful day”, while UWI principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, pronounced it a “historic and amazing day”.
“If we can play our cards right, good things can happen for the people of Jamaica,” Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, who piloted the Bill in the Senate decriminalising the drug, commented.
Under the provisions of a ministerial order issued by Paulwell recently, under the Dangerous Drugs Act, the UWI, Mona, as well as the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) are now licensed to grow ganja for research purposes.
Yesterday’s event was to witness the planting of the first legal ganja plant on the UWI campus.
Paulwell explained that he issued the order under Section 7 (d) of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act, which was passed by Parliament in February.
He said that the order was “absolutely critical” if Jamaica is to be cited as the place for medicinal research and development of the product.
“We now have an opportunity to catch up (and) I want Jamaica to be the centre of excellence for research in medicinal ganja,” Paulwell said.
He stated that the order will also allow the university to contract farming of the weed outside of the Mona campus, but suggested that, when that is done, the university should pay particular attention to the small farmers.
He said that the law also allows him to grant authorisation to other bodies. However, he warned those interested in the commercial aspects of the drug to start by looking at their own research and development capabilities, and the opportunities being created at the university for research and development.
Professor McDonald, noting that the UWI has recently assumed pole position among tertiary institutions in the Caribbean, thanked the Government and the parliament for making the ganja experiment possible.
“Almost two years ago this was the most conservative institution in the Caribbean, and today here we are planting the first legal ganja plant after 102 years,” McDonald said.
He said that ganja had been demonised for economic reasons, and alcohol and cigarettes were never so demonised because they originated in the northern countries.
“Ganja originated from countries in the south, therefore, it was important that the interests of alcohol and cigarettes were protected,” he said.
He said that the UWI will now do the necessary research aimed at providing the scientific basis to show that ganja is a medicine, and is effective against a range of diseases.
Senator Golding, meanwhile, reiterated that the interest of the Rastafarian community would be protected.
He said that there were three areas to protect their interest: (1) entitlement to certain lands designated for cultivation for sacramental purposes; (2) places of worship to be designated as such for the use of ganja as a sacrament; (3) and events primarily for observing the faith to be exempted from the Act.
Golding also said that he will also be setting up an advisory group to give guidance on how the permits are to be issued.
It’s the 10GB of Christmas with Digicel
#TurksandCaicos, December 1, 2022 – Digicel rewards customers with more this Christmas and all throughout 2023 with 10GB any use data every month.
The holiday season is a time for being thankful, so Digicel has taken on an attitude of gratitude and is thanking customers by rewarding them with more from now until the end of 2023.
Through Digicel’s exclusive Christmas plans, customers will get 10GB of data every month, for all of 2023, when they buy and stay on the plan. This also goes for new customers who have bought a SIM and/or those who take advantage of the Ultimate Christmas Combo to get a brand new discounted Samsung A23 smartphone and Christmas plan.
Customers can look forward to more data; more minutes; more rewards and prizes with Pick & Win in the MyDigicel app; more speed, reliability and coverage on the fastest network; and more savings and discounts on our devices and SIMs.
Addison Stoddard, CEO of Digicel Turks & Caicos said, “We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, it’s the Christmas that keeps on giving at Digicel, so we’re offering our customers the gift that keeps on giving when they sign up and stay on any of our Christmas plans; whether it be a 3, 7 or 30 Day Prime Plus Bundle. Every month, new and existing customers who activate a Christmas plan this holiday season will get 10GB any use data, on us, when they remain on the plan all year long. For us, it’s all about continuing to put our customers first, and thanking them for every interaction they have with us.”
Customers can also win more in the MyDigicel app through Pick & Win, the new gamified way to be rewarded for any interaction with Digicel. Whether it’s switching to join the Digicel family, buying a plan, or paying bills in full and on time, customers will get the chance to Pick & Win lots of cool prizes
USVI Natural Resources Dept tackles illegal sand mining
By Shanieka Smith
#USVI, December 1, 2022 – Recent reports of people taking large amounts of sand from beaches illegally have been on the increase in the US Virgin Islands. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) is urging citizens to refrain from doing this.
The DPNR announced that those found guilty could be charged a fine of $10,000 daily.
While they are unaware of what the illegally mined sand is being used for, the DPNR said it cannot be used for construction.
“In seawater, chloride is present, causing corrosion of steel and iron, which ultimately leads to reducing carrying capacity, so that the structure built using this may not be sustainable,” the DPNR said.
Cruise Trippers bought big with Carnival Cruise Line on Cyber Monday
By Dana Malcolm
December 1, 2022 – Cyber Monday isn’t just for electronics! Potential vacationers broke a Carnival Cruises Cyber Monday record for bookings, purchasing 50 per cent more tickets than 2019’s pre-pandemic shopping day.
The company cited a successful launch campaign of the new Carnival Celebration which visited Grand Turk recently and the three additional ships joining the fleet over the next 18 months, as major ticket pushers.
“The Cyber Monday sale activity showed consumer demand across the fleet, and we were particularly pleased with the booking activity for Carnival Venezia’s new year-round service from New York, and our new extended six-month program for Carnival Magic out of Norfolk,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our very successful naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration on November 20 and all the media coverage it generated clearly kept Carnival top of mind as vacationers got started on their holiday shopping yesterday.”
They say the pent-up demand for cruising has manifested in multiple ways in 2022, as Carnival was the first major cruise line to have its entire fleet back in operation and it now has more rooms than it was sailing in 2019.
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