Cannabis in Cuba 1937
Cannabis in Cuba
“Cuba is drugs nation number one”
In the ensuing years, Gil Carballo published a series of articles on Cuba’s decline on account of the flourishing trade in drugs (“Cuba is drugs nation number one”) and he even managed to confiscate “chitines” (joints) himself and hand over a few dealers to the police. As a narcotics expert, Gil Carballo was commissioned by the Cuban secret service in 1945 to train a team of 25 anti-drugs agents. At the end of the 1940s, they arrested hundreds of working class individuals, the majority of whom were tokers and small-scale weed dealers. Despite this special task force, the Cuban black market continued to flourish. Corruption within the police was one of the major causes.
Shortly after the 1959 Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro and his rebel forces introduced draconian drugs laws and all drug users were sent to Marxist re-education camps to perform forced labour. Whilst the hippies in the United States grew their hair and regarded Che Guevara as one of their heroes, the Cuban communists associated recreational cannabis use with an ideological deviation. Even now, on the Caribbean island possession of a small quantity of weed can lead to a prison sentence of between six months and two years.