Jamaica Gleaner / A new ad campaign by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) against ganja smoking among children and teens has drawn the ire of the Rastafarian community and stakeholders in the ganja industry who are demanding its retraction.
Those incensed by the NCDA campaign accuse the organisation of associating Rastafarians with ganja smoking among children and teens.
In a release this morning, the Ganja Growers and Producers Association says it’s an insult to the Rastafarian community for the Council to use the colours that represent the group as the backdrop for the ad which shows schoolchildren emerging from a house painted in red, green, and gold.
It points out that it is both legally and constitutionally accepted that the Rastafarian community has used ganja as an intrinsic part of their spiritual and sacramental worship.
And the group, which has interest in the ganja industry, is accusing the NCDA of hypocrisy, claiming that it has chosen to campaign against ganja while ignoring the effects of alcohol, tobacco, acts of adult sexual degeneracy, and the use of violence and guns in schools on children and teens.
The ganja group says it is both surprised and disappointed that after all the efforts made by the Rastafarian group to preserve its image and integrity during stakeholder meetings, the NCDA went ahead with creating such an ad campaign that shows Rastafarians in a negative light.