The most southern Caribbean island nation, Trinidad & Tobago is located just 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela.
Steelpan, which can be heard throughout the Caribbean, originates from Trinidad. Not to mention the limbo, calypso, and SOCA.
With new laws, Trinidad & Tobago is set to become a great destination for cannabis. We have put together this guide to understanding the marijuana laws in Trinidad.
Please pay close attention to the Fines & Punishment section. Unlike most Caribbean countries, the penalties for cannabis are both harsh and strictly enforced.
Is Marijuana Legal in Trinidad & Tobago?
Marijuana was made illegal in 1925. Trinidad has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the Caribbean. It was not until recently that the laws have started to change for the better. With decriminalization and medical marijuana legislation in 2019.
Brief History of Cannabis in Trinidad & Tobago
- Marijuana was criminalized in 1925
- From 2007 – 2018 T&T saw 84,668 arrests for possession
- Trinidad & Tobago spent $167M ($24M USD) annually imprisoning and convicting low-level marijuana offenses.
- On December 23rd, 2019 weed was decriminalized.
- Medical marijuana legislation was introduced in 2019 and may be passed in 2020.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Trinidad and Tobago?
Yes! Marijuana was decriminalized in Trinidad & Tobago on December 23rd, 2019. Possession under 30 grams of cannabis is legal. Though, smoking weed in public is a serious offense.
On December 23rd, 2019 the Dangerous Drugs Amendment of 2019 went into effect, decriminalizing weed in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Amendment legalizes:
- Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana
- Up to 5 grams of cannabis “resin” (including hash, concentrates, etc.)
- Cultivation up to 4 plants for personal use
Get caught over these limits and you will face a fine of $50,000TTD ($7500 USD).
Smoking cannabis in public is strictly enforced, with fines of $250,000TTD ($37,000 USD) and a 5 year jail sentence.
One of the main reasons for decriminalization was due to the number of incarcerations. 3,439 residents were convicted of marijuana crimes between 2010 and 2018 in Trinidad. It’s estimated that TT spends $21M USD per year incarcerating these offenders.
Besides decriminalizing cannabis, the law also expunges criminal records of TT residents convicted of marijuana crimes. It is estimated that up to 500 residents records will be wiped clean.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Trinidad & Tobago?
No! Medical cannabis is not currently legal in Trinidad & Tobago. Although legislation has been introduced that would make medical marijuana legal.
On November 22nd, 2009, The Cannabis Control Bill, 2019 was introduced. The bill sets the framework for the entire medical marijuana industry.
The bill creates the Trinidad and Tobago Cannabis Licensing Authority. Who’s task is to create the rules and regulations for medical marijuana in Trinidad & Tobago.
For tourists, medical marijuana reciprocity is not yet known. It will be up to the Licensing Authority if they will allow medical cannabis cards from other countries.
Medical conditions for medical marijuana in Trinidad & Tobago are not listed in the bill. The Cannabis Licensing Authority will determine what conditions are eligible for medical cannabis.
Lastly, the Cannabis Control Bill allows sacramental use of marijuana. Allowing Rastafarians to use marijuana for religious purposes.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Trinidad & Tobago?
No! Recreational weed is not legal in Trinidad & Tobago. While penalties for possession of under 30 grams of cannabis have been removed. Smoking marijuana in public is illegal and is strictly enforced.
No legislation is pending that will make recreation cannabis legal.
Fines & Punishment
- Possession of over 30g of cannabis or over 5 grams of concentrate – $7500 USD fine
- Over 60g of cannabis or 10g of resin – $300k+ USD fine and 10 year jail sentence.
- 100g+ grams of weed – 450k+ USD fine and LIFE in prison.
- Smoking cannabis in public – $37,000 USD and 5 years jail sentence