Is it legal to smoke weed in Jamaica? What are the local laws and customs?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s illegal to smoke marijuana (‘ganja’) in Jamaica. There are penalties for all drug offenses, including those involving ganja. Every year many British nationals are arrested for attempting to traffic ganja and other drugs. In April 2015, legislation came into force to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of ganja. Possession of up to 2 ounces will continue to be illegal but will be punishable by a fine of JMD500 which is payable within 30 days. Severe penalties will remain in place for other drug-related offenses, including attempting to export narcotics.
All prison sentences are served in Jamaica. Prison conditions are harsh. Pack all luggage yourself and don’t carry anything through customs for anyone else.
Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. In Jamaica, certain same-sex sexual activity is illegal. In practice, these laws are rarely enforced. However, the attitude of many Jamaicans to the LGBT community is hostile. LGBT travelers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
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