It’s no secret that Jamaica is one of the best islands to experience reggae, Caribbean food, and beautiful beaches. For many visitors, though, the amazing scenery is only a backdrop to experiencing the country’s world famous cannabis.
Jamaican cannabis, which goes by many other names including ganja, marijuana, weed, marigold, spliff, or herb, has been popular on the island for more than a century. The first marijuana plants were brought to Jamaica by indentured servants from India. Indentured servants became common on the island after the complete emancipation of slaves in 1838, and ganja even comes from the Sanskrit word for hemp. Popularity of the drug increased over time, and its use is closely linked to the Rastafarian religion. Yet for locals and visitors alike, getting caught with cannabis meant fines, confiscation, or imprisonment.