I have been away from my virtual desk more than I’d like to admit lately and my keyboard is feeling the pains of the more than a dozen stories that are backed up in my head for publication.
I was actually planning to bring a potentially breaking news item on Obama’s visit to Kingston Jamaica, and then let the other articles flow thereafter. But due to unforeseen circumstances, that trip was impossible to make.
By the time I could have made it to Kingston, the world’s most powerful man would have already left for his trip back to the White House.
But an article that appeared in the Jamaica Observer the next day, actually revealed the answer to a contentious question that I had wanted to ask President Obama if I had made it to Kingston on time.
And that was, “what are his government’s views on the decriminalization of marijuana, from a U.S perspective and even from his own personal opinion.”
From all indications and my subsequent review of a video of the President’s response, I gathered that the question was already highly anticipated and the answer was long choreographed in order to ensure that it does not get his support or outright rejection.
After all, many in the reggae and Rastafarian Diaspora view Jamaica as one of the world’s (modern) cradles of marijuana civilization.
And for many people, reggae music goes hand in hand with marijuana, and marijuana goes hand in hand with reggae. To top it off, Jamaica is the land of reggae.
As such, a strong or decisive response might have pushed a large religious and cultural community against the President for his views, if they were contentious.
Thus, if you should review the video, you will notice that the President simply twisted the blame on congress while hardly making his personal position clear.
Having several close friends from Jamaica, I know how contentious it can be to reason against the herb in the presence of any member of the Rastafarian community.
In Jamaica, it is legal to grow up to five plants. This fact has seen Jamaicans importing small quantities of seeds for various marijuana varieties from known sellers like Zamnesia, Crop King, and Native Roots, who sell it legally in Colorado.
In the United States, there are well over a hundred stores like Native Roots, across different state lines where the public can openly buy marijuana for recreational and medicinal use.
As such, millions of Americans enjoy a privilege that less than one million Jamaicans are asking for.
Therefore, it begs the question of whether Obama’s contradictory answer in Jamaica was more catered to potential democratic voters for Hillary 2016 back in the United States, or was just a cautious dual Appeasement to The Rastafarians Who Dreaded Public Condemnation of the herb, and the Conservatives who despise it.
What do you think?