Ganja in Negril or, just what are we smoking today in Negril Beach Jamaica?
I’ve got news for you. Although it’s been a long time since a marijuana cigarette touched my lips, while in Negril Beach Jamaica, I inhaled grass. I couldn’t help but do so.
Ganja is everywhere. Although the authorities make it quite clear that marijuana use is against the law, and the tour companies will attest to this, someone forget to tell the Jamaicans… and the tourists.
Drug Stop ~ Jamaica Style
It’s early on in our visit, and my wife and I have walked most of Negril Beach this day. It’s hot! (No complaint, I assure you.) I want to take a break, and this bench is readily available in front of one of the accommodations on the beach. Ahhhh! I rest my weary feet and ponder the beauty of the Caribbean.
It wasn’t a minute after I sat down (and just after this shot was taken) before a local Jamaican fellow sidled up to me and wondered, in his Jamaican lilt, if I’d be interested in some grass, some mushrooms or some cake?
So I said “mushrooms… what mushrooms… show me”. He extended a wrinkled and scrunched up paper bag, fumbled with it a bit, and proudly showed me what was inside.
Mushrooms. Hmmm? “What’s on them,” I said, “PCP?” (note – I knew of PCP, hadn’t taken it, never did, never will.) His eyes got kind of glazed, even more than they were already – perhaps he was his own best customer – then he smiled. “Make you happy, mon”.
I smiled back. “Listen, I don’t eat raw mushrooms at home, so I’m sure not starting here, but thanks anyway, mon” I extended my closed fist, he butted it with his, and we both said, “respect”, and then he wandered off.
If you wander Negril Beach, and why wouldn’t you, it being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you will get approached by drug sellers. You might even feel a bit apprehensive at first. If it’s during the daytime, you really needn’t be concerned.
These exotic botanical entrepreneurs are well aware of the fact that they survive on the beach by not hassling tourists. A simple no-thanks, and you’re one your way.
After a while, you get the hang of just a slight headshake, and they peel away to offer their goods elsewhere. Once you’ve tanned and you are clearly not a “newbie” on Negril Beach, you get approached even less.
I have a pretty liberal attitude to things like grass smoking. I feel that as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else, that the user isn’t committing crimes to get money
to buy pot, then enjoy.
It also helps to understand the pot culture in Jamaica when you consider the impact that Bob Marley had on the whole country (rumour was that he smoked up a bit) and, in
understanding that the unemployment rate in Jamaica hovers around the 30% mark, and the minimum wage is just $50 US dollars a week, for almost unlimited hours of work. Fifty US dollars doesn’t go far there, believe me. Check out the prices at the pump and in the food stores!
I bet that if I were in their shoes, smokin’ up would be something I’d be doing all the time too.
The tourists seem to love the readily available pot.
We had a gaggle of early-20′s types staying in the room below ours. Each morning my wife would sit out on the balcony enjoying the view and inhaling (not by choice) clouds of pot wafting up from the room below. They smoked so much, they set off the smoke alarm three times while we were there!
Ganja in Negril needs some care… though!
One night we had dinner in a local eatery, and happened to sit near the deputy superintendent of the Negril Police Department having his supper. We struck up a conversation, and during that chat, commented on the drug sellers on the beach.
He said they were being watched, that most would relocate themselves and their clients to another locale to actually make the deal, and they did nab some of them from time to time.
All I can say for sure is that we watched two police officers (like those in the photo above – though these were on Norman Manley Blvd. just outside of Negril Village) stroll Negril Beach mid-day, talking and laughing together, while the aforementioned gentlemen farmers were selling their wares right beside them. And every day, the same drug sellers would be at their spot on the beach, nodding, offering their goods, and watching for fresh customers arriving from out of country.
If you hate the smell or the thought of pot then Negril Beach is going to be a problem for you. If you don’t care who smokes what and where, then come to Negril Beach and enjoy all it has to offer. Even if it means inhaling!
I do want to add that we aren’t late-nighters. If you are out chasing drugs and good times in the wee hours of the morning, just like you would be in the urban jungle
of any big city in the world, I’d be really careful. Late at night is when any nasties crawl out of their dens, don’t you know.
Comments about your ganja in Negril experiences are welcome.
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