History of CBD and Cannabis: Equatorial Guinea
Located on the West coast of Africa, Equatorial Guinea is an insular country that is subject to frequent international drug crime, trafficking, and cultivation.
As one of the richest coastal countries in Africa, Equatorial Guinea produces huge quantities of oil that are distributed worldwide. However, this wealth is distributed extremely unevenly, resulting in huge swathes of poor individuals living in squalor just outside of major urban centers.
Ultimately, the wealth disparity within the country has caused many individuals to join illicit criminal organizations. Though most traffickers exist in conditions of poverty, huge numbers of residents are continually cycled through the illicit industries of cannabis trade, cultivation, and distribution.
Equatorial Guinea’s legal relationship to cannabis gives historians insight into how wealth inequality has propagated throughout the region. International pressures, Western financial aid, and political instability have all acted as major drivers for the cannabis industry.
Cannabis, CBD, and Equatorial Guinea
Cannabis is completely illegal for both recreational and medical use in Equatorial Guinea. Despite heavy pressure by law enforcement, many locals continue to smoke cannabis in public establishments, such as cafes, restaurants, and other public areas.
With one of the worst human rights records in the world, Equatorial Guinea officials unfairly levy punishment on individual users rather than the organizers of large drug trafficking schemes.
Most of the excesses of the criminal justice system are due to historic colonial pressures. Both the Spanish and French laid claim to the Equatorial Guinea, forcing unaffiliated ethnic groups into constant violent contact with one another in the nineteenth century.
By the late sixties, Equatorial Guinea had finally gained independence from Spanish rule. However, the Spanish still played a large role in the election of President Macias, who enacted totalitarian rule and outlawed other political powers.
In the early eighties, the American company Mobil discovered vast scores of oil in the country, which caused Equatorial Guinea to experience uncomfortably rapid economic development. However, this economic development was not tempered by fair political changes, resulting in massive wealth inequality.
This inequality drove many residents to illicit drug trade. The failures of colonial rule, mixed with political and economic oppression, has created the perfect environment for cannabis crime to prosper.
For decades, elected presidents have sought to dissolve cabinet positions, parliament, and dissenting members of the polity. By and large, all drug law is made by presidential decree. For the most part, all elected presidents have sought to stamp out the illicit cannabis trade in response to pressure from United States officials and American enterprises.
It’s unlikely that Equatorial Guinea will pursue cannabis decriminalization and legalization measures. The country is very wary of alienating American corporations and losing economic support from intergovernmental organizations.