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Jamaica is Caribbean's largest producer, exporter of illicit marijuana – report

Published:Wednesday | March 4, 2015 | 2:09 PM

A new international report says Jamaica remains the largest illicit producer and exporter of cannabis herb in Central America and the Caribbean.

The 2014 report by the International Narcotics Control Board was released yesterday in the United Kingdom. 

Jamaica's Parliament has approved new laws that will liberalise the cultivation of certain amounts of ganja while making once criminal offenses ticketable fines. 

Jovan Johnson reports:


Jovan Johnson reports

According to the report from the International Narcotics Control Board, Jamaica accounts for approximately one third of cannabis herb produced in the Caribbean.

It says increased production of the drug has been noted in other countries, in particular Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In addition, it says Jamaica has also become a hub for the trafficking of cocaine, owing to the displacement of trafficking  routes as a result of the strengthening of drug trafficking countermeasures in Latin America. 

And it says the problem is compounded by the fact that Jamaican criminal groups are using the elaborate networks originally established to traffic cannabis and cocaine as well.

The report, which examines the global trade in illegal drugs, noted that in Jamaica, drug trafficking takes place at airports through drug couriers, baggage and air freight and at seaports via containers, cargo vessels, underwater canisters attached to ship hulls, shipping vessels and speedboats.

Meanwhile, the report says the ports of Kingston and Montego Bay, continue to experience serious issues involving corruption, violence, intimidation and the circumvention.

Those ports are reportedly used for the bulk movement of containerised shipments of cannabis herb and cocaine to Europe and North America.