Maldives - A Stoner Friendly Paradise?
Maldives, is a South Asian island country, known for its beautiful beaches and resort. It’s said that it’s much easier to buy hashish oil in Male’ than it is to buy a beer. As a recreational user this is music to your ears. Let's dig more on their drug laws before planning a trip to see this majestic place.
(Veligandu Island, Maldives)
Cannabis is supposed to be illegal in the Maldives, but the bulk of the population smokes, but the drug of choice is ‘brown sugar’ or hashish oil derived from the marijuana plant. It is highly recommended to smoke in the privacy of your hotel room or other private locations. Law enforcement usually won’t hassle visiting stoners, as their focus is more on political dissidence and not so much about drug enforcement. But be discreet and subtle with your usage. As always treat the locals and law enforcement with courtesy.
However, outside the beaches and resorts comes the strict implementation of drug laws. The Government of the Republic of Maldives has ratified all the three UN conventions related to narcotic drugs, commonly known as, the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1961 (as amended by the 1972 Protocol), the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
It was first recognized that there was a drug problem in 1977 when a person was arrested possessing 350 grams of hashish. As a result, the first principal legislative act of the Maldives dealing with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (Law No 17/77 – The Law on Drugs) was passed the same year in order to help the legal system deal with it, and to act as a deterrent. The Law on Narcotics Drugs (Law No. 17/77) is the principal Legislative Act of the Maldives. The Act makes provision for the prevention of the use, peddling and trafficking of drugs; and provides for measures to motivate drug dependent persons to treatment and rehabilitation programmes with a view to reducing or eliminating their dependency on drugs and to facilitate their reintegration into the community as responsible citizens; stipulates offences and punishments relating to the misuse of drugs.
Under the said Law, only 2 were classified as Schedule 1 Drugs - Diamorphine (Heroin) and Cannabis. The punishment and penalties are literally the same for both drugs.
A person who commits offence to traffic in Diamorphine and Cannabis shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and with a fine of an amount not less than Maldivian Rufiyaa 100,000 (one hundred thousand) but not exceeding Maldivian Rufiyaa 10,000,000 (ten million).
A person who commits an offence to attempt to traffic in diamorphine, or abet or take part in any manner in the trafficking of diamorphine shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of 18 (eighteen) years and with a fine of an amount not less than Maldivian Rufiyaa 75,000 (seventy five thousand) but not exceeding Maldivian Rufiyaa 7,500,000 (seven million five hundred thousand).
Drug enforcement in the Maldives is strict and penalties are severe. They don't have the death penalty for drug offences, but they do have mandatory prison time for anyone caught with even ‘soft' drugs. Possession of minor amounts of can be considered trafficking, with a life sentence in prison attaced to it.
good info, nice to know :)