Aruba is a Dutch-owned Caribbean island loved by tourists for its beautiful beaches and year-round pleasant weather. Unlike in Amsterdam however, policies towards the sale and use of weed in Aruba are far less liberal.
Aruba marijuana laws: what’s the deal?
Recreational use of weed in Aruba is illegal, which includes the following:
Those caught violating the law are subject to severe punishment including heavy fines and possible imprisonment, as one imprudent tourist found out. The decision to carry out a conviction, however, is up to law enforcement, which one Reddit reader posted, and many others affirmed, isn’t particularly prevalent. To quote, “just don’t smoke in front of the cops and they won’t care.”
Is medical marijuana legal in Aruba?
Like in Thailand and the Bahamas, Aruba’s parliament began making moves to legalize the cultivation of marijuana a number of years ago in efforts to stimulate the local economy. In December 2018 the country hosted Remedi – Aruba’s First Annual Medical Cannabis Conference. A year later, Aruba’s parliament added a ministerial regulation excluding CBD-based products from its legal definition of narcotic usage. Similar to EU regulations, over-the-counter CBD-based products must contain less than .2% THC.
In Nov 2020, the government made a statement that they have been “working for a while on the legislation of medical cannabis. This to meet the demand for the use of cannabis-derived oils, creams, and its positive effects…The positive effect these oils have for cancer patients should be the main reason for the legalization of medical cannabis.” The laws surrounding its distribution and regulation however have yet to be set.
Local sentiment towards weed in Aruba
Aruba has a history of its local population dealing with addiction, therefore attitudes towards recreational cannabis use is pretty lukewarm. That being said, it is an integral part of the economy, both for its illegal tourist sale as well as for the government’s future plans to bolster the economy. Since 2017, with the election of a new more liberal government, Aruba has been making moves towards embracing more cannabis use.
In 2018 Aruba’s government put out an official statement at the Remedi conference proclaiming “Aruba is an island with a melting pot of cultural traditions and worldwide recognized characteristics of hospitality and openness to ideas and people.” In May 2021, Affinor Growers, a major international company, signed an economically game-changing deal with Aruba’s government to use the country’s patented rotating vertical towers for hemp and food crop production.
Where can you get weed in Aruba?
As of 2020, you can bring CBD-based products into the country that contain less than 0.2% THC. Bringing weed to Aruba however, is not advisable. It is illegal and you may find yourself behind bars. For those looking to buy locally, it can be found in many of the tourist hotspots – at seaports, sold by jetski guys, along the beach, and at local bars. Be aware when buying weed in Aruba however, that many travelers have posted about the poor quality and high price in comparison to buying cannabis in the United States.