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Jamaica's Cabinet has approved a bill that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot and establish a legal medical marijuana industry.

Justice Minister Mark Golding announced Wednesday that he expects to introduce the drug law amendments in the Senate by the end of this week.

Golding says it would establish a licensing authority to deal with the various regulations needed to cultivate, sell and distribute marijuana for "medical, scientific and therapeutic purposes."

It would make possession of 2 ounces or less a ticketable offense that would not result in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises would be permitted.

Rastafarians could also legally use pot for religious purposes for the first time in Jamaica, where marijuana has been pervasive but illegal for a century.

The legality of cannabis for general or recreational use varies from country to country. Possession of cannabis is illegal in most countries as a result of the agreement about Indian hemp, also known as hashish, in the International Opium Convention (1925). However, many countries have decriminalized the possession of small quantities of cannabis.

Some states in the US allow use of medical cannabis in state, territorial, Indian reservation, and Federal district laws, although the use is illegal by federal law. Federal agencies claim that federal law comes first.

As of January 2015, Banglaladesh, the Netherlands, North Korea, Spain, Uruguay, the U.S. states of Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, the U.S. cities of Portland, and South Portland, both in Maine, and the U.S. Federal District(although blocked) has the most laxed laws towards cannabis. While Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emiates have the most strict laws against cannabis.

North Korea and Uruguay are currently the only two countries in the world where possession, selling, transportation and cultivation of marijuana is never a crime.

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