Many people know about the connection between Jamaica and marijuana, but now one government official is ardently making the case that cannabis is important for his people.

Jamaica's Science, Energy and Technology Minister Andrew Wheatley told press that marijuana is the country's "birthright" and that they need to increase research into the drug. He also said he believes Jamaica should be at the forefront of the growing cannabis revolution.

“It is like our birthright and we cannot allow persons from outside to come and take away our birthright,” Wheatley said. “We have to position ourselves, we have to take on the mantle [and] do what we have to do… as it relates to medicinal marijuana research.”

Wheatley's statements came after the government reached an agreement with the Jamaican Medical Cannabis Corporation to help research medical marijuana and identify local strains that have medicinal value. Jamaica decriminalized and began allowing medical marijuana in 2015, although some people believe fees are too steep for local farmers to get involved in the industry.

Wheatley isn't the only government official in Jamaica speaking in favor of cannabis. Earlier this month Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw said the country would benefit from legalizing marijuana and hemp

Let's hope the rest of the government starts feeling the same.

(h/t Marijuana Moment)