Haiti is a Caribbean nation that is on the island of Hispaniola, the second-largest island in the Caribbean (with the first being Cuba). Haiti occupies roughly 1/3, and the Dominican Republic occupies the rest of the island. Comparatively, the state of Massachusetts is roughly the same size as Haiti. Weed laws wise, the two couldn’t be more different. Weed isn’t legal in Haiti, but that doesn’t mean the country hasn’t been making any progress towards legalization. The main legalization efforts are coming from CARICOM, a Caribbean organization with cannabis on their agenda.
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What is CARICOM?
First up, CARICOM stands for Caribbean Community and Common Market. It is a group of 15 member states, and 5 associate members. CARICOM exists to shape policy for the Caribbean region, and encourages community and economic development.
The 15 member states are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Saint Lucia
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
The 5 associate members are:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
CARICOM and Cannabis
In 2018, CARICOM released a Report of the CARICOM Regional Commission on Marijuana. It was quite positive towards cannabis reform, while still noting some valid concerns. You can read the report in full, but a few noteworthy extracts are:
“There is now overwhelming support for law reform moving away from the prohibition on cannabis and consequent criminalization.”
“The commission also recommends that CARICOM member states work together to formulate a formal, regional position on the need to amend the existing UN treaties that govern cannabis. In the interim, member states should declare that the treaties contravene human rights principles in CARICOM states, so as to ground a justification for avoiding treaty obligations.”
While CARICOM has not directly expressed their desire to have legal recreational weed in the region, including Haiti, they have called signaled their desire for policy to head in that direction.
Weed Laws in Haiti
Weed is not legal in Haiti. This includes both medicinal and recreational use. Unfortunately, we can’t find any specifics around the laws, such as potential fines or jail time.
What we do know, is that Haiti has one of the lowest rates of cannabis use within the Caribbean. Only its neighbor, the Dominican Republic has lower usage, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Not all Caribbean countries have data available, however, so Haiti’s rate could be comparatively higher.
Of course this isn’t to say that weed can’t be found in Haiti, especially in the larger cities such as Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, and Cap-Haitien, but rather, it isn’t as prevalent as other Caribbean nations. Keep in mind that weed isn’t legal in Haiti though, and their prisons are notoriously dangerous, disease-ridden, and overcrowded.
Weed in the Dominican Republic