Jamaica and the international drug economy

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Jamaica's pattern of dependent, polarized development, accompanied by one of the world's most inequitable income distribution structures, and its contradictory system of "retrogressive' democracy, has relegated much of the Jamaican citizenry to an illicit niche within the international division of labor. For some time, Jamaica has been an important locus for both the production and distribution of marijuana, or ganja. Paradoxically, the export-dependent Jamaican economy has found more stability and profitability in the commodification of ganja than in its traditional, legitimate exports of sugar, bananas and bauxite/alumina. With US pressure on the government to reduce the production and exportation of ganja - despite the absence of viable legitimate economic alternatives - traffickers have increasingly offset their scarce ganja supplies with cocaine flowing in and out of the island en route to its North American destinations. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalTransAfrica Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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