History of CBD and Cannabis: Guinea
Located on the coast of West Africa, Guinea is an incredibly diverse country in terms of its population and environment. With an economy largely based on agriculture, Guinea is well known for its role in the international drug trade.
Over time, Guinea’s legal attitude towards cannabis has developed as a result of historic international pressures, geography, and the impact of colonization.
Cannabis, CBD, and Guinea
Cannabis is illegal for recreational and medical cultivation, use, and distribution throughout the country of Guinea. Mere possession can land a user prison time and heavy fines. The state is criticized for its inability to decrease prison recidivism rates, leading mass amounts of cannabis users to recurrently land themselves in prison every few months.
In the sixteenth century, the slave trade worked its way up to the coastal areas of Guinea. European travelers would consistently travel to the region in order to participate in the Atlantic slave trade, which caused cannabis seeds to spread from slaves all across portions of North and South America.
However, Guinea was not formally occupied until the mid-nineteenth century. The French defeated local guerilla forces early on, leading to complete European control of the region with several years.
By the 1950s, French control completely collapsed due to political instability, bloodshed, and a surge of political independence among African colonies. Since the French struggled to keep control over Indochina and Algeria, colonial rulers ultimately retreated from the region.
To this very day, the sudden withdrawal of French control caused widespread conditions of poverty, economic collapse, and political instability. Diverse ethnic groups were forced to cohabitate Guinea under the same political forces, resulting in recurrent violence that persists even in the modern era.
Even after Guinea aligned itself with Soviet forces, the United States and other capitalist Western powers provided aid to the battle-hardened region. In order to escape poverty, Guinea residents took up the illicit practices of cannabis cultivation, production, and distribution.
Moreover, Guinea is a humid, warm country that boasts a long rainy seasons. Considering that many remote portions of the country are hard for law enforcement to patrol, it makes sense that much cannabis crime remains undisturbed.
The central government has struggled to maintain control over the population of Guinea. Bans on free market economy led to declining profit among lower class individuals and anti-government riots throughout the seventies.
Even so, Guinea maintained strict anti-cannabis laws due to the involvement of the United States. International narcotics conventions and annual financial aid caused the government to completely disavow the cannabis economy even though criminalization presented major enforcement problems outside of the capital of Guinea.
As Western nations scale back cannabis criminalization, it’s unclear whether coastal West African countries like Guinea will shift their enforcement of cannabis crime. United States officials and international narcotics agencies still carry a vested interest in eliminating drug trafficking all along West Africa.