In 2015, Jamaica decriminalized marijuana. Most people probably assume cannabis was already legal based on the Rastafarian culture and for many, the influence of Bob Marley, but the Jamaican government has taken a pretty harsh approach to marijuana over the last 50 years. Under the new law, possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana is a petty offence punishable by a maximum fine of about $5.00. The law also allows the cultivation of up to five marijuana plants per household. Rastafarians, however, are allowed to indulge for religious purposes and follow a different set of guidelines.
With a struggling economy largely based on tourism, the government seems to have had a serious change of heart. Many locals were excited about the possibilities of marijuana tourism. Under the law, visitors with medical marijuana prescriptions from their home country, as well as visitors who are ill, may purchase a permit at the airport that will allow them to consume marijuana in Jamaica without fear of legal action.
Rather than fight Jamaica’s reputation as a marijuana mecca, they decided to embrace it, harness it, and use it to boost their economy. The Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) is in charge of regulating Jamaica’s cannabis industry. They want to place kiosks right at the airport; that way travelers can get the required documentation to purchase cannabis as soon as they arrive. The CLA wants to tightly regulate Jamaica’s budding cannabis industry. Their goal is to crack down on illegal trafficking, ensure quality, and to capitalize on the product that they’ve been fighting for so long.
So, if you decide to visit the Bob Marley Museum, or you’re just interested in digging your toes in the sand, Jamaica will cater to the cannabis enthusiast. Offering activities such as the first-ever Jamaican Cannabis Cruise just this year, Bob Marley’s Museum and tours to Jamaica’s marijuana farms, they are on the forefront of the cannabis tourism industry. Just make sure to gift your herb to somebody or smoke it before you leave the country… Marijuana is still illegal and you’ll land yourself a drug trafficking charge if you try to bring it with you!