Supermodel Gigi Hadid Just Got Arrested For Medical Weed in the Cayman Islands
The influencer and her friend got fined $1,000 each for bringing ganja and paraphernalia to the islands on a private jet.
Published on July 19, 2023

Gigi Hadid just got arrested for attempting to spice up her recent Cayman Islands vacation with weed.

The 28-year-old model, whose real name is Jelena Noura Hadid, was arrested at the Owen Roberts International Airport on July 10. Hadid and her friend, Leah McCarthy, had just arrived on a private jet from the US for a brief vacation on Grand Cayman, the largest of the islands. But although the influencers landed on a private jet, they still had to have their bags checked by customs. 

Local news outlet Cayman Marl Road reports that a Customs and Border Control officer discovered cannabis and paraphernalia in both tourists' bags. News reports didn’t identify exactly what kind of bud Hadid and her friend were caught with, but noted that the small amounts they were carrying were clearly intended for personal use only. Both women were arrested and charged with Importation of Ganja and Importation of Utensils for smoking ganja.

Hadid and McCarthy were taken to the local Prisoner Detention Center, where they were officially charged and then released on bail. Two days later, the model and her friend pleaded guilty in Summary Court and were fined $1,000 each. No permanent charges were filed, though, and the arrest didn't seem to bother the influencers. After returning to the US, Hadid shared an album of vacation photos and videos along with the caption “all's well that ends well.”

"Gigi was traveling with marijuana purchased legally in NYC with a medical license," Hadid's representative told E! News. "It has also been legal for medical use in Grand Cayman since 2017. Her record remains clear and she enjoyed the rest of her time on the island."

The Cayman Islands did indeed legalize medical marijuana back in 2017, but Hadid still broke the country's strict cannabis laws. Patients are only allowed to use tinctures or vapes to treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. The islands do not recognize medical cannabis cards issued in other countries, and it remains illegal to import or export cannabis from the country, regardless of medical use.

The incident highlights how antiquated the Cayman Islands' cannabis policies are, especially when compared to other Caribbean nations. The US Virgin Islands completely legalized adult-use cannabis earlier this year, and several smaller countries, including Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis have granted Rastafarians the right to grow and smoke weed. Larger tourist destinations like Bermuda and Jamaica have also decriminalized personal recreational use and established progressive medical marijuana programs as well.

Cover image via here and here

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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