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Nearly 50 kilograms of cannabis seized at V.C. Bird International Airport

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Cannabis arrived at Antigua and Barbuda airport in three separate shipments

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Law enforcement officials in Antigua seized almost $750,000 worth of cannabis in a series of joint operations at the V.C. Bird International Airport.

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Police and customs agents seized three separate shipments of weed this month, reports Antigua Observer.

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In the first seizure, officials discovered 57 vacuum-sealed packages of cannabis, weighing about 26 kilograms with an estimated value of $342,000. The packages were found inside a cardboard box at the Customs Cargo Shed.

Two other shipments were also seized at the airport, with one containing a total of 31 vacuum-sealed packages of cannabis weighing 14kg while the other contained 15 vacuum-sealed weighing about 8kg. The two packages were estimated to be worth $278,700.

Police also found a portion of cannabis-infused candies. All of the packages were confiscated and taken to the police station as part of an ongoing investigation.

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Medical cannabis was legalized in Antigua and Barbuda in 2018. The recreational use of cannabis remains illegal in the country but is also partially decriminalized. Residents can possess up to 15 grams, cultivate up to four plants, and not be guilty of an offence.

The 2019 International Religious Freedoms Report, which details the status of religious freedom in every country, highlighted Antigua and Barbuda’s decriminalization of weed, which allows the government to uphold the religious rights of Hindus and Rastafarians.

The annual report covers government policies violating religious belief and practices and details U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. It identifies a dozen or so countries and territories where cannabis laws either support or interfere with religious liberties. 

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In contrast to Antigua and Barbuda, the report notes that Rastafarians in the Bahamas report government discrimination against them and sanctions on the use of cannabis.

While the U.S. contributes to the report, it is not included.

“The administration has answered the call to fight for people of all faiths, everywhere, at all time,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement announcing the release of the 2019 report. “It’s been a very fulfilling job for me working with the incredible staff and pushing for religious freedom in every corner of the globe.”

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