queen elizabeth in Jamaica
Queen Elizabeth (L) talks with Jamaica's Governor General Patrick Allen and his wife Patricia (R) during a reception for Commonwealth Governors General at Buckingham Palace in central London June 5, 2012. Reuters/John Stillwell/POOL

Jamaica is on to big things soon. The country is planning to end Queen Elizabeth II’s rule as well as legalise marijuana.

Jamaican lawmakers are preparing for the new government’s 2016-2017 legislative agenda that will cover a proposed constitutional amendment to set term limits for the Prime Minister, writes Bloomberg. It also aims to establish fixed election dates. The amendment would make the island of Jamaica a republic. It would also replace Queen Elizabeth II as head of state with a Non-Executive President.

Another major proposal in the legislative agenda focuses on fully legalising marijuana for specified purposes via additional amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act. Other plans include creating a single anti-corruption body and reforming the tax and pension system. There is also a proposal to provide legislation that will allow impeachment proceedings against corrupt public officials and Parliamentarians. There will also be changes introduced to the criminal justice system.

The items of the upcoming legislative agenda were explained by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen on April 14 during his Throne Speech to Parliament. Allen’s speech had the theme, “Building a Partnership for Prosperity.” The measures, however, will require approval by Parliament to turn into law.

Caribbean 360 reveals that Allen said that a Criminal Justice Plea Negotiations and Agreements Amendment Bill will provide for reduced sentences on guilty pleas. There will also be a Judicature Resident Magistrate Amendment Bill that will provide the prosecution the right to appeal sentences which they deem inadequate, as well as allow a retrial for contaminated verdicts.

There will be stiffer penalties for obstruction of justice, adds Caribbean 360. There will also be a Judicial Accountability law that will ensure judicial accountability for performance and behavior in office. A Mutual Assistance Criminal Matters Amendment Bill will allow the introduction of evidence via video-recorded evidence and TV link. There will also be changes to the Trafficking in Persons Act to prosecute offenses without a jury.

Sir Patrick also continued that the Jamaica Labour Party administration that entered office during the February 25 general election plans to boost tourism, which will ultimately create more jobs, encourage more visitors and increase earnings. The Ministry of Tourism will also train more people in the tourism sector.

The Queen’s representatives have not yet commented on the issue. At present, Queen Elizabeth II is head of state of Caribbean nations like Jamaica, the Bahamas and Barbados.

More updates and details on Jamaica’s legislative agenda are expected soon.