There are quite a few pundits across the worldwide weed community who believe that the next region to become nothing short of heaven for cannabis users will be the Caribbean. Of course it’s no secret that marijuana use across the Caribbean is pretty prolific already, with the obvious exception of Cuba. Cannabis has been a part of Caribbean culture for a great many generations, ever since workers from India travelled to the Caribbean and brought homegrown weed along for the ride. And of course, the growth and expansion of the Rastafarian movement has also had a huge impact on marijuana use in the Caribbean.
Nevertheless, there are several signs that things may be destined to head in an even more liberal direction going forward – much to the delight of residents and Caribbean holiday fans alike.
Read on for just a few of the reason why so many people are predicting that the Caribbean will soon become a global marijuana hotspot:
1 – First of all, the very first cannabis plants legally grown in Jamaica are blooming at this very moment. The country’s law was changed in 2015 in order to allow for cannabis to be grown legally for scientific, religious and medicinal purposes for the first time. Not only this, but the same bill also decriminalised possession of marijuana up to a maximum of 200g, along with each adult being given the right to grow a maximum of 5 cannabis plants for their own consumption. This represented the biggest transformation in cannabis law in the country’s history.
2 – Recently, the president of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines admitted that he would prefer to grow and export marijuana than continue growing and selling bananas. “I think that it’s about time that we move into the 21st century and stop this prohibition that has caused much pain on a lot of people,” he said, adding that deforestation as a result of banana growing was becoming not only an inconvenience, but a genuine hazard to health and safety.
3 – The sentiments of the president of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were also shared by Saint Lucia governmental representative Valentine Clement James, who said: “I feel, trust me, there will be more to export than the bananas, because you have more youth in the ghettos who will be happy to plant it, to sell it. The banana will not really sell fast like the marijuana.”
4 – A Cannabis Committee was established by the Caribbean Union in 2015, with every one of the 15 Caribbean states being represented. The committee promised that it would “soon begin its work to look into the economic, health and legal issues surrounding the use of marijuana and to consult with stakeholders to get a view on the issue.”
5 – The Jamaican government minister for tourism has made no secret of the fact that he and the rest of the country in general intend to use the new relaxed marijuana laws as a means by which to attract more tourists to the country. The idea of cannabis tourism has been floating around the Caribbean in general since 2014 and is something a great many member states are expected to focus on going forward.
These represent just a few of the apparent indicators that a wide number of Caribbean islands are likely to soon become havens for marijuana users and cannabis tourists in general. There are certain Caribbean islands that still punish consumption and possession of cannabis quite strictly – including the Dominican Republic and Guyana. Nevertheless, the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Cannabis Commission of the Caribbean Union could lead to widespread changes encompassing even the most skeptical of member states.