Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.

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Drugs in the Caribbean

Drugs remain a problem throughout much of the Caribbean. Depending on the island you visit (Jamaica is the most notable example), you may be offered illegal drugs from a smooth-talking local salesman. These ingenious entrepreneurs offer their goods both on and off land. We’ve had more than one swim interrupted by salesmen in canoes, boats, and, once, even on horseback in the shallow water. A polite “no, thank you” usually ends the transaction without further problems.

Marijuana, or ganja as it’s known locally, is illegal throughout the Caribbean. Drug penalties are becoming stiffer, and drug prevention measures more stringent in many countries. Customs carefully screens bags (using dogs in most cases) both when leaving the island and when returning to the mainland.

Have a good talk with teenagers before a trip to the islands. They’re prime targets for ganja salesmen, especially in Jamaica. Explain to teenagers that they may be approached and offered drugs for sale, and also explain to them how to politely refuse and move on without further discussion.




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