World

WATCH: Here's What $20 Worth of Marijuana Looks Like—In Jamaica

Ganja is dirt-cheap in the land of reggae and Rastas.

Photo Credit: Jared Shomo / Shutterstock.com

Ah, Jamaica. Just a hop, skip, and jump from Miami, the Caribbean island nation is a prime tourist destination. It's got gorgeous beaches, breathtaking mountains, throbbing reggae beats, its own delicious cuisine, and a rich culture born from and steeped in the bittersweet legacy of the West's arrival in the Americas.

It's also got marijuana for incredibly cheap prices, as you can see in the video clip below. This middle-aged white guy bud hunter manages to score a handful of colas that probably yielded somewhere between a quarter- and a half-ounce of Jamaican home grown for $20.

Call it 10 grams, just to be conservative. That's a gram price of $2. Compare that to after-tax gram prices five to 10 times higher in legal marijuana states in the US, and $20 gram sales are not uncommon in the non-legal states, where ounce prices of kind bud are typically over $300 ($12 a gram).

The buds are sugary with resin, and the smoke tastes "as smooth as peanut butter," in the words of a local hustler who somehow appears on the scene shortly after the camera starts rolling and the weed starts burning.

The guys in the video are chortling over their cheap score, but the local guy who sold it to them is probably laughing all the way to the bank. Websites that track Jamaican pot prices report prices of $8 to $80 an ounce for high quality weed, with pounds going for as low as $150. Still the tourist gets cheap weed, the local makes a quick profit, and everybody's happy.

Despite being the land of reggae, Rastas, and reefer, Jamaica has not fully legalized marijuana, but it has decriminalized the possession of up to two ounces, so visitors who don't go too crazy with cheap weed purchases should have no problem with the law. Not that it was  a big problem for tourists before; the video you're about to watch was filmed before decrim went into effect, and nobody was too worried then. 

This video shows a pretty herb-centric Jamaican experience. One can only hope these guys managed to get out of the smoke-filled rooms long enough to see the rest of what Jamaica has to offer. 

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

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