History of CBD and Cannabis: Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau is one of the smallest countries on coastal West Africa with one of the largest centers of Narcotics crime in the whole region. Considering that West Africa is mired in international drug trade, this is no small claim to make.
As a member of the African Union and the United Nations, along with a dozen other international economic unions, Guinea-Bissau touts a strong international presence. Although the country features limited law enforcement, officials are committed to stamping out all forms of malignant cannabis cultivation, trafficking, and personal use.
The country’s complicated relationship to cannabis is a result of international pressure, a long history of colonization, and current political pressures.
Cannabis, CBD, and Guinea-Bissau
Currently, the cultivation, possession, and consumption of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes is completely illegal in Guinea-Bissau. As one of the most popular drug trading routes in the region, the current government has cooperated with international organizations to secure its borders against all forms of trafficking.
Despite government policy, many law enforcers treat mere possession and individual use very lightly. It’s not uncommon to see residents publicly smoke cannabis in restaurants, cafes, or other social areas with no fear of repercussion.
With a warm and mild temperature year round, Guinea-Bissau presents to perfect environment for cannabis cultivation. The long rainy season occurs from June to October, which allows for cannabis to grow despite the lack of complicated irrigation systems.
Ever since cannabis was introduced by the Portuguese during the era of colonization, the substance has presented an easy way for locals to escape the conditions of poverty.
Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest per capita gross domestic products in the world. With an extremely high rate of wealth inequality and low human development index, many families join illicit drug trade just to make ends meet. Worldwide, one acre of cannabis is nearly thirty times as profitable as comparable amounts of other crops. Both cultivators and distributors receive massive economic benefit, which drives the illicit cannabis industry forward.
As the government makes slight increases in enforcement and crop eradication, cannabis prices increase, which only serves to attract growers and sellers. It would take massive, widespread, and consistent law enforcement for the cannabis industry to be negatively impacted by legal crackdowns. However, law enforcement is lax and not well-distributed throughout Guinea-Bissau, owing to political instability created in the wake of colonial independence movements.
It’s unlikely that any substantive change will occur any time soon. Due to the country’s ties with non-governmental unions, there is still significant pressure that bars cannabis policy reform in Guinea-Bissau.
It doesn’t help that the United States and other Western powers routinely involve themselves in West African country’s drug trafficking enforcement. Through providing financial aid, development nations just propagate the lucrative criminal drug market.