April 3, 2019
A just-released United States State Department report says marijuana is the drug of choice in Saint Lucia and other Eastern Caribbean Islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
However, according to the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report almost all countries in the sub-region have cited a growing traffic from Colombia of a form of cannabis with elevated THC levels known locally as “creepy.”
It said during the first nine months of 2017, drug seizures in the Eastern Caribbean totaled 658.18 kg of cocaine and 267 metric tons of marijuana, according to data shared by local governments with the DEA.
In the same time period, there were 194 arrests in connection with drug trafficking, and
the seizure of $1.3 million in illicit drug proceeds, the report noted.
“Cannabis cultivation occurs in the mountainous regions of St. Vincent, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Dominica,and cultivation appeared to increase on Antigua and Barbuda in 2017,” according to the US report.
It observed that Saint Vincent continues to be a primary source for cannabis in the Eastern Caribbean.
But the report also observed that Venezuela-based drug traffickers use the region’s many uninhabited islands to move cocaine shipments up the island chain for onward transit to North America and Europe.
It as noted that for two years in a row, the Saint Vincent Drug Squad reported an
increase in the transshipment of cocaine from Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and to a lesser extent, Colombia.
“These shipments involve the use of “mother vessels” that remain off-shore
(50 nautical miles or beyond), which offload smaller loads of cocaine typically ranging from
between 20 and 200 kilograms (kg) to local boats. Traffickers have also been detected
intermixing shipments of cocaine on boats transporting local produce and construction material to northern Caribbean islands,”the report observed.
It said Although there were some seizures of synthetic drugs, the small quantities involved do not represent a new consumption trend.