A bad country for cannabis tourism
I have been in Cuba many times. It is a beautiful and colorful country, full of different things to do and friendly people. But if you are looking for cannabis, you better choose any other destination to spend your vacation.
Besides being almost impossible to find and having a very poor quality, possessing weed can get you in a Cuban jail for two years, in case is a small quantity.
In 1937 Cuba created the Law of Marijuana Assessment banning cannabis. The same year the Cuban government commissioned the journalist Antonio Gil Carballo to write a 212 page document named “Expensive and vicious, opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin.”
The journalist described the dangers of cannabis and other drugs. “Cannabis is worse than opium, than morphine or cocaine, (…), because it awakens the most terrible and sinister passions in people.” he wrote. And that is the ideology that has prevailed since then in the Cuban regime. The journalist continued writing articles about the poor situation of the island due to the drug trade. He wrote: “Cuba is the number one drug country”. He became a police sneak and denounced several traffickers.
In 1945, he became an “expert” in drugs and trained a team of 25 agents to fight the drugs. During the 1949s, many people who belonged to the working class were arrested for being consumers and small dealers. However, the black market continued operating with the help of corrupt cops.
The era of Castro
After the Revolution of 1959, Castro created laws according to which drug users went sent to reeducation camps where they had to perform forced labor. Today, possessing a small quantity of weed can take you to prison from 6 to 25 months.
Prostitution and marijuana are two severe crimes in Cuba. Secret police are always searching the tourist areas looking for “gringos” trying to get some marijuana to smoke and prostitutes (named “jineteras”) to have sex.
But if the police are looking for cannabis is because there are dealers and customers. The question is how to find a trustable dealer. You can find marijuana in Havana.
I personally recommend visiting the tourist areas where young fellows around restaurants and bars know the dealers. Many of them speak English. Obviously, speaking Spanish helps a lot.
The best idea is developing certain level of friendship and trust with the guy before speaking about marijuana. Usually they will offer you a prostitute before saying a word about weed. Don’t forget secret police can be around.
Since Obama opened the doors of Cuba to Americans, the situation is better; although not easy. The American dollars (named “fulas”) have great purchasing power on the island.
I, personally, became friends with a dancer who worked in a tourist hotel. Although she did not smoke, she had good friends who used marijuana. Two days after we met, I asked her if she knew anyone and she told me that she had several friends who smoked. The next day she introduced me to one of them and I was able to buy him marijuana of questionable quality but, marijuana after all. Don’t expect finding good quality. You have to settle for what there is and when there is.
Prostitution and cannabis
In Cuba the concept of prostitution is very different. It is not often to find women who exchange sex for money openly. The normal thing is to find people eager to meet foreigners who invite them to a good meal or a couple of beers. Be nice and invite them to eat or drink and soon they will become friends of yours. They will show you where to buy.
Cannabis is quite expensive in Cuba. Here are some approximate prices. They can change, depending on your dealer.
$350 to $550 for an ounce.
$90 for 10 grams.
$45 for 5 grams.