Pot Tourism: The 5 Best Places You Can Legally Smoke Weed

The world is a wild and wonderful place and there is no better time to be exploring it than now. With cheaper flights, better global infrastructure and a developed tourist industry, the average person has more opportunity than ever to see the beauty and variety on this planet. Yet with so much choice and so little time we need to narrow down our list of preferred destinations to something realistic. For some a sunny beach and hot weather will be necessary, for others it will be low prices or an unfamiliar culture, yet for a lot of stoners out there it will be quite important for them to enjoy their favourite herb legally in a marijuana-friendly environment.

So without further ado we present our top five tourist destinations for casual and committed pot tourists alike.

Netherlands

We’ll start off with the most obvious one. The Netherlands has been Europe’s pot tourism destination of choice for so long we can’t really remember a time before. While the marijuana-friendly laws may differ from place to place, most people will be heading to Amsterdam for their easy fix of bud.

 legal-weed-in-the-Netherlands

Amsterdam thankfully has a very relaxed approach to legal weed and any tourist over the age of 18 should have no problem purchasing marijuana from coffeeshops (or ‘special’ truffles from head shops). The experience of purchasing and enjoying cannabis in Amsterdam casts a whole new light on smoking weed. Coffeeshops are not seedy dens but rather relaxed and comfortable spaces much like a café or chilled bar. Your fellow smokers are just as likely to be mature people unwinding after their day at work as they are giddy teenage tourists working on their bucket list.

Combine this with the relaxed atmosphere of the city and friendly chilled Dutch character and you have one great place to smoke up. Obviously tourists should conduct themselves with a respectfulness and level of dignity appropriate as guests in a foreign country, but this should not restrict your enjoyment of the place.

As anyone who has partaken in Amsterdam’s cannabis culture can attest to, however, there is little better than watching the sun go down on a warm summer evening as you sit by one of the city’s endless canals, enjoying some potent, flavoursome and fine quality weed.

USA

 legal-weed-california

The eyes of the pro-cannabis crowd are firmly fixed on the USA as one by one its states succumb to the lobbying and economic benefits of marijuana legalisation. This has not been an easy battle, and currently there are only a minority of states that permit legal recreational marijuana use.

So far the marijuana friendly states that have fully legalised recreational use are Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, California, Washington and Colorado. Medical use is permitted in many more, but for pot tourism purposes you’re probably better sticking to those states with the most relaxed laws.

The great thing about these states is their geographical spread. For the aspiring stoner this presents a great range of travel options from the cold icy vastness of Alaska to the scorching desert heat of Nevada. Add in the allure of Oregon and the cultural powerhouse of California and you have an irresistible stoner road trip right before you. Seattle to LA to San Francisco to Las Vegas to Denver to Boston - perfect.

Spain

Recently becoming popular through the exploitation of a legal loophole, recreational use of weed in some of Spain’s big cities is making this Mediterranean paradise the new destination of choice for holidaying stoners. With its perfect weather, beautiful architecture and the kind of cuisine that makes you want to apply for residency, there are few locations in Europe that seem better suited for pot tourism than Spain.

Gaining strength in places such as Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid, the legal use of weed is often done through membership clubs and is still in its early stages. Tourists can still take part in the fun, however, giving Spain its marijuana friendly credentials.

Put off by the Netherlands’ changeable weather and too much of a hipster to pick a place like Amsterdam anyway? Then Spain might be the ideal choice for the enterprising pot tourist this summer.

Jamaica-legal-weedJamaica

Weed has been one of this island nation’s greatest cultural exports for as long as anyone can remember, with the herb being a key component in the Rastafari religion too. Despite this, until 2015 the plant was actually illegal to both possess and consume. Thankfully this has all changed, and it is now legal to do what plenty of Jamaicans had been openly doing for generations before anyway.

This means that Jamaica, which has always been a de-facto marijuana friendly place, is now legally a legitimate destination of choice for pot tourism. Its desert island-esque topography and Caribbean climate make it the perfect place for rolling up, laying back, and just feeling the hours drift by in a haze of tranquillity and peace.

It should be noted, however, that the cultural connections between Rastafarianism and smoking weed are grossly simplified in the West. The Rastafari religion considers marijuana to be a sacred plant that is spiritually significant and is not to be abused for basic recreational fun. This is unlikely to be an issue for most tourists, but it is advisable to bear in mind for situations where a certain level of respect may be required.

North Korea

No this isn’t a joke, and neither is it particularly recommendable, but North Korea actually has a very relaxed approach to weed. This tiny hermit nation grows cannabis naturally on its plains and hills, and culturally is said to lack the pathological stigma that is placed on marijuana in the west. The result is that cannabis is legal to use recreationally and medicinally both in public and private.

While stoner culture is typically swamped with humour about the novelty of smoking at questionable times and places, the North Korean state is not known for its leniency towards the foolhardy antics of foreigners. This means that planning such a trip should be accompanied by plenty of research and caution, without the expectation that one can get ridiculously baked and still stay out of trouble.

This may not be one for the novice travellers or twice-per-year smokers, but for those with the life experience, travelling acumen, and marijuana tolerance to pull such a move off we can’t think of a higher peak to climb for the aspiring pot tourist.

 

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