At the beginning of July, the Cuban government issued a decree forbidding the possession, import and transportation of cannabis, as well as all its derivatives, by travellers and in the shipment of commercial packages, including those indicated by medical prescription for consumption for therapeutic purposes.
But prohibiting the cannabis plant in all its shapes and forms just wasn’t enough. The government went as far as prohibiting paraphernalia and merchandise, in line with a strict policy of rejection of cannabis and any product related to its consumption, while in the world progresses towards creating open laws on the legalisation of the plant’s medicinal and recreational uses.
The law, signed by the National Ministry of Health (MNSAP), warns about the prohibition to “import, have, transport or export drinks, food, materials, bibliography, propaganda, goods, objects, paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes or any other input that incites, stimulates or propagates the use of the Cannabis plant (…), flowers, seeds, products or substances, components derived from these, that produce effects similar to drugs, whether medical or recreational. In other words, things like a T-shirt supporting the legalization of medical cannabis, a CBD oil bottle or a vape pen cease to be items related to wellness and to one’s personal health choices, and become full-fledged evidence of a possible crime being committed.
The Cuban Government clarifies that in the event that any of these substances, plants, flowers, seeds, products or substances, components derived and other regulated modalities are detected in the hands of someone, measures will be applied in compliance with the legislation in force. Although specifics on the penalties for paraphernalia, clothing and other merchandise are not clear, the Cuban Penal Code stipulates a general framework of between four and 10 years in prison for anyone who traffics, acquires, introduces or extracts from the national territory marijuana or other plants with similar properties.