Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marijuana in Jamaica - what's the 411?

When people think of Jamaica they tend to think of sun, fun, rum, Marley and WEED!   For a lot of tourists indeed the thoughts of Jamaica and "ganja" do seem to go hand in hand.   Let's explore the history of marijuana on the island of Jamaica...

Marijuana does indeed have a long history on the island dating back at least 150 years but it really wasn't until the late 70's that it really got popular.   Why?   Mr. Bob Marley.  Marley's rise in fame from the mean streets of Trenchtown in Kingston to international fame helped to showcase his love of the herb.  Being a Rastafarian Bob Marley felt that use of the product was as much as a Religion right as anything else.  They look at ganja as a way to deepen their faith.  Sometimes it is also claimed that the holy herb grew on the grave of King Salomon.  Altho Rastafarian's make up only 5% of the population many of the island inhabitants also partake in the smoke. 

It is assumed that marijuana came to Jamaica with the Indians. This also explains why in Jamaica a Hindi word is used for marijuana: "ganja".  These days it's said that Jamaica is one of the worlds leading marijuana consumers with reported 60% to 70% of Jamaicans either smoke it or have in the past.   Today the ganja that's produced is stronger than decades past, mostly from improved planting methods.  Consider ganja smoking in Jamaica as alcohol consumption to the French.  The French often times don't think twice about having a glass of wine 2 to 3 times per day.

(an aerial view of a ganja plantation)

 There are many styles to consuming weed, you can smoke it, drink it and eat it.  Most people just light up a bud and go at it.  Prices in Jamaica for ganja run affordable:  most the time people can score a weeks worth of weed for around $25 to $40 for an ounce.  Or you can swing by Jenny's Favourite Cakes and pick yourself up a "space cake" which is no more than a brownie with herb in it.  For just $10 you can get yourself one of these local legends and spend the next 7 hours or so wondering what the hell just hit you.

(Negril, Jamaica)

 So if this is your idea of a good vacation, then go for it.  Just remember, marijuana is ILLEGAL in Jamaica but often times overlooked.  But still, be careful.   Local's have been pushing for the legalization of weed for years but so far - no such luck.

I'll leave you with this video to watch of some real footage in Jamaica

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