Trinidad: Drug dealers, weed smokers blame US ship for lack of weed

By Trinidad Newsday

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(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – DRUG DEALERS and “stoners” have been crying out for relief, claiming there is a major shortage in the preferred “kush” marijuana. Several marijuana enthusiasts have taken to social media complaining about the shortage and even called on the newly-appointed Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, to alleviate the situation.

However, the ganja lovers did not attribute the shortage to the efforts of police, but said it was because of the USS Gunston Hall, a 609-foot-long US Navy ship, which was anchored off TT’s shores from August 8 to 11. One weed-smoker cried in a Facebook rant two days ago, “Move that boat from on the water, please, let me get a weed smoke, nah. Whole day I smoking Broadway (cigarettes). How it doesn’t have drought in Stag and Carib, eh? Is days now I eh smoke a kush, boy! A 25 (bag of weed) lasting me four days, man!”

The man said he was only smoking “Barry White,” another term for Broadway cigarettes, and they were turning his lips white. The video ended with the man feigning a seizure and threatening to “trip off.” In another Facebook post, a man held up a fistful of empty medical bags usually used to package the illegal substance, and asked “What am I supposed to do with these?”

He then began singing “Move the boat right away” to the tune of the Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way. “Tell me why, the boat don’t move from dey? Tell me why the government don’t legalise it? Believe when I say, we want the boat move right away,” the man sang.

Other people who took to Facebook to rant about the shortage came up with the hashtag “#movetheboat,” which began trending in local circles.

Unnamed sources told Newsday that thanks to the shortage, weed smokers now have to resort to buying “high grade” to get their fix. The price of kush has skyrocketed to about $7,000 a pound in the marijuana markets, and dealers have resorted to minimising the size of a “smoke” from the standard .5 grammes to .4 grammes.

Sources also said “local” and “vincy” grades of marijuana are also available, but are not as potent or popular as kush.

The USS Gunston Hall came to Trinidad on August 8. Newsday was told the nature of the mission was purely to co-operate with local forces in training as part of the annual Southern Seas and Southern Partnerships initiative, in which US Navy officers were dispatched to various territories in the Caribbean, South and Central America.

AJ Jagelski, public affairs officer of the US Embassy, yesterday said in a conversation with Newsday that the boat left on August 11, but the subject matter expert exchange between the US dive team and medical team, and the TTCoast Guard is continuing.

The USS Gunston Hall will return on August 22 to pick up the medical and dive teams.

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