Jamaica has been named as a major drug transit or major illicit drug producing country by U.S. President Joe Biden.
In a Memorandum to Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, Friday, President Biden placed Jamaica among a total of 23 countries considered to be heavily involved in the transit or production of illicit drugs.
Under U.S. Law, a major drug transit country is one which is considered to be a significant direct source of illicit narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances significantly affecting the U.S. or one through which such substances are transported.
On the other hand, a major illicit drug producing country is one in which at least 1,000 hectares of opium poppy or coca, or at least 5,000 hectares of illicit cannabis are cultivated or harvested in a year unless it is determined, in the latter case, that such production does not significantly affect the United States.
According to President Biden, a country’s presence on the list is not necessarily a reflection of its government’s counterdrug efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.
He says countries are placed on the list based on the consideration of geographic, commercial, and economic factors which allow drugs to be transited or produced.
Four other Caribbean countries have also been identified as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries namely: the Bahamas, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Notably, of the twenty three countries listed, only six are located outside the North and South American regions.