Lifestyle

Cannabis Getaways

By: Kevin, August 6, 2018

Everyone loves a holiday, Sun, beaches, adventure, culture… Whatever your preferences these days, it is easy and affordable with a bit of research to go pretty much anywhere and explore the wider world, after all, travel broadens the mind and the same can be said for weed! So with many countries now relaxing their cannabis laws the possibilities of combining your perfect break with the chance to smoke in a relaxed legal atmosphere is appealing to say the least. In order to inspire you, here are arguably, 5 of the top smokers holiday destinations around the world today.

#1 Amsterdam

The most well known and popular destination in Europe for any smoker is of course Amsterdam! A city break with something for everyone, built on 400 year old waterways and criss crossed bridges on cobbled streets you can explore the local shopping, food and drink in one of the laid back street eateries and bars. Wander in awe of the fabulous architecture all around you. In the museum quarter you have the likes of the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk museum of modern art and the Van Gogh Museum. Of course in complete contrast you also have the wild nightlife, bars, live sex shows and of course the famous red light district, not to mention the infamous “coffeeshop” cannabis culture!

Cannabis Getaways

Whilst not strictly legal in the Netherlands the smoking of weed is tolerated, the use of medical marijuana however is legal. Locals or tourists over the age of 18 can purchase and smoke up to 5 grams of marijuana per day in special bars called coffee shops. You can smoke in public however it is not always welcomed due to the nuisance that it can attract and cause to local residential areas, businesses etc and so you should always proceed with caution and respect in these cases. The trade of weed is still illegal and only licensed coffee shops can sell it in accordance to certain guidelines, such as not selling alcohol, closing by 1am and having no more than 500g on the premises at any one time. There are nearly 600 coffee shops in the Netherlands and 193 of those are in Amsterdam.

#2 Jamaica

Jamaica, the paradise isle holiday that you can make into whatever you want it to be. Explore the rainforests and animals that live there or hike the blue mountains. If relaxation is more your style then just chill out on the beach and watch the sunset over the Caribbean Sea with a backdrop of slow reggae grooves, great food and friendly people.

Cannabis Getaways

Jamaica is the only place where weed is legal for religious reasons, those being its integral role within the Rastafarian faith. It is legal for Rastafarians to carry and use at their place of worship. For all others in the country, tourists included, the relaxation of laws in 2015 means that the personal use of up to 2 oz or 56g of weed has been decriminalised, as has the growing of marijuana plants, as long as it is no more than 5 in one home. It is acceptable to smoke weed on private property however if you are discreet and respectful you should be ok smoking in public and if not, now that it is classed as a petty crime you face no more than a $5 fine. Medical marijuana is now legal in Jamaica and tourists can acquire a permit to buy it if they have a prescription.

If it is simply for recreational purposes however then you can still buy it quite easily just by asking around, there are no coffee shops like in Amsterdam. Like all countries it is still illegal to try and cross a border with weed on your person and so be sure to pass it on or smoke it all before you leave.

#3 Barcelona

Barcelona has the best of both worlds, a vibrant cosmopolitan city offering all the latest shopping and dining trends with a great nightlife alongside the more relaxed beach and harbour front allowing you to take advantage of the hot sunny weather. You can also experience the culture and history of the city and take in the amazing architecture and wander the old winding streets. If you are looking for something a little more outdoorsy, there are some amazing natural sights to take in, in the surrounding areas such as the Montserrat mountains and Monastery, boat trips out from the harbour or even water sports, not to mention the marijuana museum. A must visit!

In Spain as a whole, private consumption is strictly speaking still illegal however it has been decriminalised so far as that you would simply get a fine for possession rather than jail time. Catalonia (area including and surrounding Barcelona) is a fiercely independent state and in 2017 it legalised cultivation and consumption in “Cannabis clubs” where weed can be grown and people including those who require medical marijuana (which is legal also in Catalonia) can pay a members fee to go and privately smoke it. This meant that there could be clear rules on how clubs should be run. You need membership to gain access to these clubs with normally a 2 week wait, this is in order to deter tourists, however in many large towns and cities, especially Barcelona it is reported that it is no problem to obtain membership if you are a tourist on a short visit. Clubs can grow up to 150kg of weed a year for customers and those over 21 can purchase up to 60g a month, 20g a month if between 18-21. You are encouraged to leave your weed at the club in a locker for example when you leave as whilst smoking is quite accepted in Barcelona it is still illegal to possess and use in public, edibles as it currently stands are still illegal. If you do have weed on you or are smoking in public it is advised to use your common sense and not be too brazen about it. If you are caught with a few grams in public the most that will probably happen is that you will be made to throw it away, however depending on the situation and who it is that catches you the police do still have the powers to impose some hefty penalties and fines!

#4 Vancouver

Vancouver, situated on the west coast of Canada it is a bustling city and seaport. Very culturally diverse it is flanked by The North Shore mountains and the Pacific Ocean and is perfect for those that seek adventure and want to be amongst nature with year round sport activities, both on land and water. Vancouver has a booming art, music and theatre presence, in the winter the ski slopes at Whistler are a mere 30 minutes away from the heart of the city and in summer the beaches and terrace bars are packed with people chilling out and enjoying the nightlife and social scene. It is also a great base to visit attractions further away such as the Canadian Rockies.

Cannabis Getaways

1st of July this year, 2018 is an important date for Canada as recreational marijuana is to be legalised country wide, medical marijuana already holds legal status, with all provinces poised to open regulated stores selling quality assured weed. Most provinces will set the possession age to that of alcohol consumption. The public possession limit is set to be 30g of dried weed and the laws on where you can smoke generally looks like it will be permit table on private property or wherever you can currently smoke tobacco. Check the local regulations when you travel to be sure. Federal laws states that it will allow the purchase of dry, fresh or oil cannabis, seeds and plants. This implies that Canadians will be able to grow at least some cannabis in their own home (up to 4 plants)! Marijuana edibles are also set to be legalised but not until at least next year (2019). Prices are looking at being very reasonable at around $10 a gram which is hoped to act as a deterrent to people wanting/needing to buy on the black market. The whole country is so vast and has so much to offer in terms of tourism but even more so now, especially on the west coast and most notably in Vancouver in British Columbia, where the oceanic climate is perfect for cannabis cultivation. The city has been quite forward in cannabis culture where previous to the legalisation laws being introduced, it has been home to a number of Amsterdam style “coffeeshops” where weed could be smoked openly and was tolerated by the law. With lots to do already, you now have even more reason to go.

#5 California

California really does have it all, beaches, surf, sun, wine country, theme parks, the Bright lights and tourist trail of Hollywood, dazzling cities full of glitz, glamour and unrivalled shopping choices. Not to mention a delicious and varied selection of food and drink to discover, alpine beauty, jaw dropping national parks and vistas and historical places of interest. It’s one of those places that everyone is familiar with from seeing it on the TV but to really experience it you need to get yourself there. Road trips are a popular choice, hiring a car so you can work your way around the sunshine state at your own leisure sampling a selection of places and activities that appeal to you on your own tailor made experience.

Cannabis Getaways

California is renowned for having been very tolerant to weed, in recent years becoming the first US state to legalise medical marijuana back in 1996 and 20 years later in 2016 recreational use was legalised! There are no shortage of state licensed dispensaries that stock a wide variety of strains catering for every taste at between $10-$30 a gram alongside oils, edibles, creams, lotions, seeds and cuttings. You can also purchase and smoke dabs which are the concentrated oils or waxes from the cannabis plant! Be warned though that dabs are much stronger than regular weed as they contain much higher levels of THC so approach with caution! The law states that if you are 21 and over you can carry up to 1 ounce of weed on you and you can grow up to 6 plants behind closed doors. These quantities increase if you have a medical marijuana card however at present only Californian residents can obtain one of these. It is still illegal to smoke in public with regulations stating that weed must be consumed only on private property, however given the relaxed attitude toward weed and the tolerant culture in California it is not unusual to see (or smell) weed being smoked in public. If you do decide to try this then just try and be discreet and respectful to your immediate environment and the other people occupying it, the police tend to leave you alone as long as you are not being too obvious, vaping is probably your best bet for ingestion in this situation. A bonus of going to California is that like many US states, neighbouring Nevada has followed suit and legalised weed for recreational purposes also, so why not extend your trip and once you’ve chilled out on the beaches of Cali, take in the Grand Canyon and the sights of Vegas too!

With the inevitable roll out of legalisation upon us, it won’t be long before smoking weed recreationally is more often than not the norm wherever you go, which is a great future to look forward too. However at present the fact that it is only permitted legally in select destinations kind of makes it all the more appealing and enjoyable and so when tied in with the places above and what they already have to offer it makes for the perfect holiday of a lifetime.

Rich Hamilton

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