The manufacture, possession, and consumption of cannabis is decriminalized in Trinidad and Tobago. In December 2019, the government passed a bill in Parliament to decriminalize the cultivation and possession of small quantities of cannabis. The bill was proclaimed as law on 23 December 2019.
In November 2019, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi laid two bills in Parliament which decriminalize possession of less than 30 grams (1.1 oz) of marijuana, implement tiered penalties for possession of 30–60 grams (1.1–2.1 oz), and allow cultivation of up to four plants per adult. The decriminalization bill was passed by both houses of Parliament and will be proclaimed into law on 23 December 2019, while the Cannabis Control Authority Bill was sent to a joint select committee.
Smoking marijuana in a public place remains an offence.
On December 23rd, 2019 the Dangerous Drugs Amendment of 2019 went into effect, decriminalizing weed in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Amendment legalizes:
- Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana
- Up to 5 grams of cannabis “resin” (including hash, concentrates, etc.)
- Cultivation up to 4 plants for personal use
A fine of $50,000TTD ($7500 USD) will be issued if caught with more than 30 grams.
Smoking cannabis in public is strictly enforced, with fines of $250,000TTD ($37,000 USD) and a 5 year jail sentence.
One of the main reasons for decriminalization was due to the number of incarcerations. 3,439 residents were convicted of marijuana crimes between 2010 and 2018 in Trinidad. It’s estimated that TT spends $21M USD per year incarcerating these offenders.
Besides decriminalizing cannabis, the law also expunges criminal records of TT residents convicted of marijuana crimes. It is estimated that up to 500 residents records will be wiped clean.