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Cannabis in Cuba

“Cannabis is worse than opium, morphine or cocaine, (…) because it arouses the most dreadful and sinister passions in people.” Find out who thought so in Cuba in 1937.

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In Cuba in 1937, the year in which the United States established the Marijuana Tax Act, which effectively outlawed cannabis, Antonio Gil Carballo published his book “Expendedores y viciosos. Opio, morfina, marihuana, cocaína, heroína” (modern translation: “Dealers and junkies. Opium, morphine, cannabis, cocaine, heroin”). In 212 pages, the journalist describes the dangers of cannabis and other kinds of drugs for Cuba’s young people. “Cannabis is worse than opium, morphine or cocaine, (…) because it arouses the most dreadful and sinister passions in people.” The book ends with the complete text of the international drugs convention in Geneva in 1931, when it was decided to impose production restrictions on legal producers of opiates and cocaine.

Drugs nation number one

In the ensuing years, Gil Carballo published a series of articles on Cuba’s decline on account of the flourishing trade in drugs (“Cuba is drugs nation number one”) and he even managed to confiscate “chitines” (joints) himself and hand over a few dealers to the police. As a narcotics expert, Gil Carballo was commissioned by the Cuban secret service in 1945 to train a team of 25 anti-drugs agents. At the end of the 1940s, they arrested hundreds of working class individuals, the majority of whom were tokers and small-scale weed dealers. Despite this special task force, the Cuban black market continued to flourish. Corruption within the police was one of the major causes.

Che Guevara

Shortly after the 1959 Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro and his rebel forces introduced draconian drugs laws and all drug users were sent to Marxist re-education camps to perform forced labour. Whilst the hippies in the United States grew their hair and regarded Che Guevara as one of their heroes, the Cuban communists associated recreational cannabis use with an ideological deviation. Even now, on the Caribbean island possession of a small quantity of weed can lead to a prison sentence of between six months and two years. Our museums in Amsterdam and Barcelona exhibit various film posters and pulp fiction novels with hysterical anti-cannabis messages from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. The Spanish-language book “Expendedores y viciosos. Opio, morfina, marihuana, cocaína, heroína” (1937) is part of the vast collection belonging to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

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Cannabis in Cuba “Cannabis is worse than opium, morphine or cocaine, (…) because it arouses the most dreadful and sinister passions in people.” Find out who thought so in Cuba in 1937. Hash

Cannabis in Cuba

Cuba is not really the place for you to go if you are looking to score some bud. Unfortunately, the Castro regimes have made it difficult to do anything they consider a social detriment.

The Cuban government considers weed, like prostitution, just such a detriment. Consequently, the police roam the tourist areas, always on the lookout for foreigners, called gringos, who are engaging in either of these supposed vices. I was fortunate during my stay in Havana to have never had the authorities catch me with any cannabis.

Cannabis in Cuba
All is not lost for marijuana tourists. Similar to prostitution, one must remember that the reason law enforcement clamps down on the activity is because people want to do it. The ban on smoking pot is evidence that Cubans and their foreign visitors want to take a toke. And, demand always necessitates a supply. Cannabis is in Havana. The real problem is how to get to the pot.

It is a bit hard to find pot in Cuba. Tourists usually do want to venture into certain neighborhoods to make a purchase. I suggest staying in the tourist zones anyway. Here, young men sitting around the restaurants and bars, speaking English fairly well, usually have the connections to get whatever foreigners desire to smoke.

It is best to develop some level of trust before discussing cannabis. These sorts of guys will offer men a prostitute first, before turning the topic to drugs. Likewise, they may offer women some male companionship. Just go along with the flow until the topic turns to bud. Be careful because undercover police are all over the tourist zones of Havana.

Someone has mentioned to me that it is best just to carry some marijuana on your person when traveling to Cuba. I would never take this recommendation seriously. First, traveling by plane will almost assuredly result in detection. The X-ray machine readers will notice the baggie of Northern Light bud and its contents.

Entering by boat might be easier. But, of course, smuggling drugs into a communist nation could mean a long jail term. It is just not worth the risk. Again, people offer bud to tourists in the hotel districts. There is no need to pick up a smuggling charge.

The Price of Cannabis in Cuba
Prices are high because of the police crackdown on bud. Going to Cuba on a cannabis vacation can prove expensive.

Here are prices in American dollars:
$377 to $600 for an ounce.
$100 for 10 grams.
$50 for 5 grams.
$40 for an eighth.

The Quality of Cannabis in Cuba
The quality varies according to the price. Because of the difficulty people have accessing weed in Cuba, there is no focus by sellers on providing the best strains. I was dying for some Bubble Kush while in Havana. Alas, there was none to be found.

Whatever dealers have will sell because customers know they may not be able to get any for a while. Tourists should keep this mind. Just take whatever the contact provides and call it a day.

Cannabis Strains From Cuba
There really are no strains unique to Cuba. This fact is largely because of the problems cultivators have growing marijuana. The police are everywhere.

I do wonder if the Cuban Communist regime has any plans to pass out medicinal marijuana some day. If so, Cuba might become a good place to go on a bud vacation after all.

Cuba is not really the place for you to go if you are looking to score some bud. Unfortunately, the Castro regimes have made it difficult to do anything they consider a social detriment.