Comments on the "Articles of Pacification with the Maroons of Trewalney Town, Concluded March the First, 1738"
The history of the Maroons has been explained elsewhere. What is of present concern is the treaty with which the Maroons and the British concluded hostilities on March 1, 1738. The text of the treaty can be found on this web site. Under this treaty the Maroons are allowed to grow and use marijuana, without the intervention of the Jamaican or United States governments. Several aspects of the treaty support this position. The treaty states that "[the Maroons] shall be for ever hereafter in a perfect state of freedom and liberty." Under the treaty, the Maroons "shall enjoy and possess, for themselves and posterity for ever, all the lands situate[d] and lying between Trelawney Town and the Cockpits, to the amount of fifteen hundred acres...."; furthermore, "they shall have the liberty to plant the said lands with [various crops]...."
All of this in itself suggests that the Maroons should be left alone on their land to do what they will with it. The land is theirs, and they have the right to do what they will with it, including growing marijuana on it. But there is more. The treaty states that "[the Maroons] shall have full power to inflict any punishment they think proper for crimes committed by their men among themselves, death only excepted....;" and that only if they injure an outsider "shall he [the Maroon offender] submit himself, or deliver up such offenders to justice." That is, the treaty of peace leaves the Maroons with their own criminal justice system. All internal "offenses"--i.e. crimes which are not committed against outsiders--are to be dealt with by the Maroons. Under the terms of this treaty, then, so long as they do not attempt to export drugs outside of their community, neither the United States nor Jamaica has any right to interfere in the Maroons' internal drug policies.
There is no question as to the validity of this treaty: it was made on fair terms, and has been respected since then. Under it the Maroons are to be left alone on their land, free from outside interference and responsible for their own criminal code. The actions of the United States and Jamaica in interfering with the Maroons' drug policy thus violate the treaty of peace between the Maroons and the British, and should cease.
Treaty courtesy of the Kress Collection of Business and Economic Literature, Baker Library, Harvard Business School.