Are Drugs Prevalent in Jamaica?
Jamaica is a laid-back country. It’s a country of “chilling”. One of the reasons for this could be that it’s hard to avoid the abundance of marijuana – locally known as “Ganja”. Despite drugs being illegal in Jamaica, ganja and cocaine are relatively easy to obtain, and you may even find yourself being approached by street or beach hustlers who are hoping you could use a quick fix of one or the other!
There are two warnings for tourists when it comes to drugs. First of all, don’t buy them and don’t take them from anyone offering you a free smoke. Just avoid them completely! Tourist status, American passport and all, is not going to save you from an obligatory sightseeing tour of the inside of a probably overcrowded Jamaican cell! Even if they clear you of everything except using, you will still have had an experience you’d rather not remember. If they are able to charge you with anything more than using – then you could be facing gaol time in the local penitentiary. The Jamaican culture is known for its connection with drugs, but it’s not so well known for the tough penalties it gives out for those who are caught, so just avoid finding out the hard way and stay well clear of any drugs.
The second warning is in respect of your belongings. We are becoming a society where we are wary of leaving our luggage lying around anywhere, or of carrying a bag for someone else because of the risk of a terrorism attack. Use this to back up your resolve not to carry a doll or even a baby across the airport boundaries from one country’s laws to another! If you’re holding it, when the officials check it and find illegal drugs, you’re the owner – so don’t put yourself in that position. Make sure you don’t take care of anything belonging to someone else, and that your own luggage is never left unattended and open for someone to put something into it.