Staff writer - Nyasha Watson

Ganja is the natural herb of the Rastafarian community; therefore it is important for them to carry out their religious practice. Thus why is it illegal in the Caribbean where we have a huge population belonging to that religious faith?

And on the other hand, cigarettes which have no religious significance is legal. They are both dangerous to one’s health when they are smoked. Why the double standard?

Ganja on the other hand is handy medicine for some ailments when it is extracted into its liquefied form. Thus we are seeing where it even has an edge over cigarette.

I am not here advocating the use of ganja; don’t get me wrong. However, what I am saying, how fair is it for one item to be legal and a similar one to be illegal. Ok, so ganja is more powerful than cigarette in an exact comparison.

Lil Wayne smoking

But, cigarette can be as and even more powerful if it is used frequently by users. This is so because addiction is a real problem when it comes to cigarette usage. So I ask the question again why is it that one is legal and the other is not.

Is it a matter of class? Ganja is used mostly by the lower class and by the Rastafarian religious group who were once greatly discriminated against by in society. Whereas cigarette is mostly consumed by the upper class. I am not saying that the lower class doesn’t use cigarette and vice versa.

Or is it an economic issue? No, no that can’t be because; if it was then ganja would be legal. It is no secret that ganja smoking is very popular among tourist and also the general international population (mostly young people) is very curious about the product. Thus if it was to be legalized then it would mean more foreign currency for the Caribbean nations.

Again, I am not promoting ganja usage I am just outlining the facts, to demonstrate the similarities of ganja and cigarette. Therefore, I am saying if cigarette is legal then ganja should also be legal. And if ganja smoking is illegal then cigarette smoking should also be criminalized. Remove the double standard!!