Fashion model Gigi Hadid and her friend were arrested last week on marijuana charges in the Cayman Islands, customs officials confirmed Tuesday. After appearing in court and paying the fine, the couple continued their vacation and then fled the Caribbean country, according to multiple media reports.
Hadid, the self-described “Nepo Baby” (her father was a real estate developer and her mother was a 15-year modeling career before starring in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), was arrested along with her friend Leah Nicole McCarthy on July 10 after arriving on a private plane from New York City, according to Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control officials.
“During a search of luggage, ganja and equipment used to consume ganja were found in the luggage of both passengers.” according to the report From Island News Source Cayman Mar Road. “The quantity was relatively small and was believed to be for personal consumption.”
The two women were arrested and taken to a detention center where they were released on bail. Two days after their arrival, Hadid and McCarthy were indicted for “alleged importation of ganja and of equipment used to consume ganja.” They then appeared in summary court, pleaded guilty, and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine. They were later released unharmed, according to customs officials.
Hadid’s agent Ronde Coletta said. washington post The supermodel said she bought cannabis after receiving a recommendation for medical cannabis, pointing out that medical use of cannabis has been legal in Grand Cayman since 2017.
“Her record was clear and she enjoyed the rest of her time on the island.” Coretta said.
Even after being freed, Hadid and McCarthy continued to vacation, with media reports claiming they went to karaoke bars and took selfies by the pool, which were later posted to Instagram.
“All’s well that ends well,” Hadid captioned postdid not specifically mention her arrest.
Cayman Islands Cannabis Policy Reform
In 2021, cannabis activists in the Cayman Islands began collecting signatures for a voter effort calling for the decriminalization of marijuana. If the proposal is adopted, the records of people convicted of using or possessing small amounts of cannabis would also be expunged. And last year, the Cayman Islands parliament voted to hold a referendum to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. If either law becomes law, the island nation would join other Caribbean nations such as Puerto Rico, Dominica, Jamaica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that have decriminalized cannabis and legalized medical marijuana.
Ollie Mellen IV, a civil attorney who drafted the voter-led initiative, said the proposal was drafted to address the disproportionate impact of the cannabis ban on the island’s youth, many of whom live in low-income neighborhoods.
“For them, the prospect of being unable to get a job in the future due to criminal charges would be a considerable burden. Mellen said. of los angeles times, refers to young Caymanians. He said he knows at least one person who has been barred from traveling to the United States for possession of marijuana.
Mellen noted that residents in both wealthy and low-income neighborhoods use drugs, but arrests are more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods.
“Gated communities are less likely to be patrolled by police than lower-income neighborhoods, which tend to have higher crime rates and tighter police oversight,” Mellen said.
Law enforcement officers arrested 154 people for drug-related offenses in the island nation of about 80,000 people last year, according to Royal Cayman Islands Police data. Most of the cannabis-related arrests were for marijuana possession, with only three people arrested for importing the cannabis that Hadid and his companion were charged with.