There has been a “significant” increase in cannabis coming into Barbados, according to a new report from the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
The 2014 document released this week did not provide statistics. However, it stated that Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Curacao were also in the same boat as Barbados and, in some cases, the weed was being shipped in exchange cocaine trafficked back to Jamaica.
“Shipments of illegal drugs may be transferred at sea at predetermined Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates for retrieval by local vessels at sea. The shipments are later unloaded on deserted beaches in Barbados,” the report added.
“The majority of cocaine is believed to be sourced from Colombia, trafficked through the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and/or Guyana before entering Barbados, and then further trafficked to Europe and/or North America.”
The INCB stressed that Barbados was not a major producer of illicit drugs.
However, it noted that cannabis plants had been discovered in sugarcane fields, gullies and enclosed yards and that cocaine continued to be trafficked using private boats, cargo vessels, yachts, fishing vessels and “go-fast” boats.
On the issue of drug abuse and treatment, the report highlighted the demand reduction education in schools supported by the Drug Abuse Resistance Education programme, the National Council on Substance Abuse-sponsored “drugs decision” programme in 45 primary schools, and the country’s drug treatment court programme.
But it said that limited availability of drug treatment options remained the main challenge.
“Treatment and rehabilitation are available at two centres, although there is no minimum standard of care for persons with problems related to drug abuse,” the report stated.