Traveling with cannabis is a bit more complicated than just throwing a sack in your suitcase and hopping on a plane. Since the herb is still illegal in several US states and countries around the world, it's essential to know your options as far as weed-friendly destinations go.
And even more important, you need to be informed on the rules and regulations of carrying bud on your person when traveling. While some places forbid bringing cannabis on a plane altogether, other areas allow it in small quantities.
To make sure you have safe, trouble-free travels, your best bet is not to bring any weed with you at all. But that doesn't mean you can't still smoke during your trip.
Depending on where you're going, you can always pick up some ganja from a local dispensary. And if you have friends where you are staying, then that's even better. Both can point you in the right direction. If done properly, you can have a fun, bud-filled trip without any worries. In case you need some ideas of where to embark on your next journey, here are the top 10 cannabis-friendly countries, and a list of ones that you're better off avoiding.
If you want to blaze up freely, then there's no better place than Uruguay. In fact, it's the only place in the entire world where weed if 100% legal. To consume it, anyway. It's still highly frowned upon for non-citizens to buy it there. But as a traveler, you're welcome to smoke all you want.
Aside from Uruguay being one of the greatest places to travel if you like cannabis, there are also a ton of beautiful beaches and yummy restaurants to eat at, too. And as far as places to stay goes, there are options that are a bit pricey, like the lovely Casa Stefano, but also ones that are completely affordable, such as Casa Sarandi. A great place to vacation at, indeed.
Whether you want to enjoy a breathtaking view while you get high, or prefer to travel somewhere that isn't uptight when it comes to smoking the herb, look no further than the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands, located off the coast of northwestern Africa, have gorgeous volcanic islands left and right, including Mt. Teide. And surrounding them is a crystal-clear blue sea.
The Canary Islands are also known for their black-and-white beaches. And ever since the 60s, a tight-knit cannabis community has formed up and down the Spanish archipelago. Using cannabis falls into a grey area of law, and is not tolerated in public spaces. However, with all the great hiking spots (like the Anaga Mountains), and places to swim (one being Garachico), finding a sweet spot to spark a joint will be a breeze.
It's not just weed that's decriminalized in Portugal. In fact, all drugs have been decriminalized there ever since 2001 - making it the first country in the world to do so. This does not mean it is legal or ok to smoke in public, with personal possession resulting in a fine, so caution is still needed.
Something to fall in love with in Portugal is all the amazing sights. Take for example Pena Palace, a 19th-century, Romanticist palace surrounded by stunning parkland. Also, there's Lisbon Oceanarium, for those who adore animals.
And to point you in the direction of some of the best shops and cafes around, be sure to stop by Praça do Comércio, which was completely remodeled after being destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1755.
In the United States, the possibilities are endless. Now that nine states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, and 23 allow it for medical purposes, there's a lot of places where you can smoke a bowl. For starters, there's Colorado, full of beautiful mountains and outdoor fun.
You can hop in a weed-friendly limousine in Denver and tour the area. Or, you can stay at one of the many Bud + Breakfast's, which accommodate pot smokers.
If Colorado isn't what you had in mind, then there's also Alaska, home of the stunning Northern Lights and other outdoor attractions. And if not Alaska, definitely Washington. Washington is covered with rainforests, beaches, and mountain trails. Plus, a wide variety of weed products, and even a place to stay that's located right on a cannabis farm called the Sonshine House. Other legal adult-use states include California, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Nevada.
Of course, every pot smoker should travel to music legend Bob Marley's old stomping grounds at least once in their lifetime. Between all the beaches and local cuisine, you won't want to leave. Oh, and the fact that you can find weed just about anywhere. During February of 2015, Jamaica decriminalized the herb. So now, you can get your float on down the Rio Grande and have a puff all you want. Or, have a seat on top of the Blue Mountains and enjoy the view while you blaze away.
In Switzerland, cannabis is decriminalized. However, it is still a crime to use, sell, and cultivate more than four plants at a time. But apparently, only the minimum punishment is enforced for both possession and personal use, no matter the amount. Despite this, Swiss police remain rather lax about its use. In fact, the country has the second-highest rate of marijuana use among youth.
Also, the market is budding, and there are plenty of over-the-counter legal weed sales taking place at their dispensaries, which are said to be quite tasteful. While you should proceed with caution when sparking up, Switzerland is still one of many places worth paying a visit.
If there's anyone who has it made, then it's the Dutch. The Netherlands is famous for their pot-friendly coffeeshops, most of which are found in Amsterdam. And the scenery all around is just phenomenal. Although selling weed is still technically illegal there, it's still very much tolerated.
In other words, you need not worry about being bothered by law enforcement. Same goes for smoking. As long as you're not a minor, you're good. Carrying up to 5 grams is safe, too. But it's not recommended that you consume in places that do not allow it.
One thing that is highly frowned upon in the Netherlands is growing cannabis. When it comes to that, they do not play. But some progress is still being made as the country recently passed a bill allowing commercial growers to be an exception to the drug law. And if that bill manages to get past “De Eerste Kamer," then cannabis could very well become 100% legal in Holland.
Even if it’s not the primary canna-location, Spain, and more specifically Barcelona, is a place that marijuana devotees should consider.
Cannabis in Spain is illegal for commercial purposes, but it is personal use falls into a grey area.
Barcelona is home to some amazing Cannabis Clubs, which are the safest places to smoke weed if you want to stay on the safer side of things. You need an invitation to join legit Cannabis Clubs, along with the payments of an annual fee.
Spanish cannabis laws are quite laid-back. Or at least they are being applied in a relaxed manner. You shouldn't have much trouble in getting fine quality weed and hash, or even smoking and cultivating if you keep a low profile. But if you do not want to encounter any problem it’s better to stick with legal clubs.
On the subject of things to do, there's plenty. Catalonia happens to have a couple of cannabis clubs. And for those who can appreciate fine architecture, there's the Park Güell, Sagrada Família, and of course, the Plaza de España. There's also a variety of museums, parks, and beaches to check out.
Since 2007, cannabis in Chile has been decriminalized. However, minimum punishment is still enforced for personal use, possession, and cultivation in private. It's rather odd, considering weed can be found quite frequently on the beaches and at many bars. Also, it's not unheard of to catch people sparking up in their cars, and even at parks.
You are allowed to carry up to 10 grams at a time without penalty. And medical cannabis is legal along the Chilean border as well. If you're wondering about the quality, you can expect it to be above-average. In fact, a lot of popular strains like AK-47, White Widow, Northern Lights, and Purple Haze can be found there.
The Czech Republic is especially pot-friendly. Prague, the capital of the country, is also known as the Amsterdam of the East if that tells you anything. Since April of 2013, medical cannabis has been legal in the Czech Republic. As for personal use, it is decriminalized. You are allowed to carry up to 15 grams of bud, or grow five plants.
If you want to meet up with some fellow stoners, you'll without a doubt find them lighting up at the bars or concerts. In fact, a lot of dealers hang around them, too. So if you need a quick hookup, just politely ask one of the barmen.
But do beware, some of these so-called "dealers" might approach you. And if they do, you're better off saying no thanks. They have been known to steal your money, leaving you with nothing in return.
So, you now know all the best places to get high around the world. But what about the worst? Well, there are quite a few. In Europe, they include Sweden, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, and Russia. Traveling to one of those places to smoke some herb will result in legal trouble if caught.
Countries like Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE, Egypt, and the Philippines all have extremely harsh sentences. Nigeria especially, considering you can be sent to prison for anywhere from 15 to 25 years if you so much as use cannabis.
Oh, but it gets worse. In countries including Afghanistan, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos. Also, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen, the death penalty is still either legislated or contemplated for cannabis offenses, such as dealing or smuggling.
All things considered, it's best to avoid these areas if you're looking to vacation somewhere where you can consume weed. Stick to our top 10 list and save yourself the hassle.