Gigi Hadid’s Brush with the Law: Arrested and Released in Cayman Islands for Marijuana – A Tale of ‘All’s Well That Ends Well

Gigi Hadid and a friend were detained on suspicion of attempting to carry marijuana to Cayman Island. They celebrated their release by sharing images and videos on Instagram of themselves at a hotel pool and seaside, drinking and eating a delicious-looking margarita pizza with friends. Without specifically addressing her arrest, Hadid captioned the image, “All’s well that ends well.”

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During her stay in prison, Gigi Hadid, real name Jelena Nora Hadid, performed better than predicted. The supermodel and her pal, Leah Nicole MacCarthy, admitted to unlawfully importing marijuana and smoking accessories. After settling a $1,200 fine, they were given the green light to proceed. According to Cayman Islands legislation, this particular offense might result in a maximum jail sentence of three years, with hard labor. In some cases, individuals might face a maximum of seven years behind bars and be liable to pay a fine of up to $20,000. Furthermore, having such drug-related allegations on their record might make education, employment, and travel difficult for average Caymanians.

Following customs and border control regulations, Gigi Hadid and MacCarthy went from the United States to Cayman Island on a private jet on July 10, confirming their arrest on Tuesday afternoon. Following a check of their possessions, authorities discovered a tiny amount of marijuana and a “drug utensil,” leading to their arrest.

The 28-year-old model and MacCarthy were accused of smuggling marijuana and possessing drug-related paraphernalia. They were granted bail and freed after spending some time in jail. Two days later, they appeared in court, where Hadid and MacCarthy pleaded guilty to the allegations. After paying the charge, they were freed with a clean record, according to Customs and Border Control.

According to Gigi Hadid’s representative, the model legitimately obtained marijuana with a medical license in New York City. Taking the substance to the islands, however, is against the law, even though it is legal for medicinal usage on the islands.

Cayman Island, known as a tax haven for American corporations, has recently attempted to decriminalize marijuana. A group of Caymanians began gathering signatures for a voter-led referendum to decriminalize marijuana in 2021. Their mission was to assist people who had been convicted of petty marijuana possession or usage offenses. In addition, the Cayman Islands Parliament approved a referendum in 2022 to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

Orry Merren IV, a civil attorney who prepared the referendum, noted that his initiative aimed to reduce the disproportionate impact of such regulations on young adult Caymanians, many of whom originate from lower-income regions. “I think it’s a burden that makes it difficult for them to obtain future employment or, in some cases, travel for school, college, and trade qualifications,” Merren added, referring to the young Caymanian. He stated knowing at least one person who was unable to fly to the United States due to marijuana possession suspicions.

Although both lower and higher-income communities use marijuana and other narcotics, arrests are more likely among lower-income inhabitants, according to Merren. “”If you’re looking at lower-income places, your likelihood of having a police patrol through a gated community is lower,” he continued, alluding to areas with higher crime rates and more police surveillance.


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