Don’t Get Caught Green Handed: A Guide to Countries Where Weed Is Legal
A decade ago, smoking weed while traveling was more of a special destination thing than it is now. If you told someone you smoked a lot of weed on your vacation, they’d assume you went to one of three or four famous weed-friendly countries.
Jamaica, of course, is famous for weed. Mexico has its share of the herb, while the Netherlands have had it legal for years. Plus, you can get away with it on some smaller, Caribbean islands.
But now? You can travel to the far off land of Washington State, USA to land some good bud. You don’t have to leave the country — you may not even have to leave your state.
So which other countries have hopped on the green train? Learn about countries where weed is legal below.
Countries Where Weed Is Legal
First off, we’re delivering you the best information we have access to at the time. If you get caught with weed in a country and the cops say it’s not legal, assume the cops are right.
That said, let’s get started by talking about the good old USA.
The United States
There are 12 or so states where marijuana is legal recreationally and medically. Maine and Michigan have recently joined the recreational list, while Florida approved it for medical use in 2016.
If you travel to a state where it’s recreationally legal, you can’t just walk into any dispensary and walk out with an ounce. You’ll need to be at least 21, and in most places, have cash.
When you walk in, you’ll present an ID to the employee, then they’ll call you back to work with a “budtender” when someone is free.
You can only buy specific quantities at a time as there are legal limits to the amount of product you can have in your possession.
Even in the very cannabis-friendly states like Colorado where CBD oil stocks are strong, you can’t smoke just anywhere. Make sure you’re on private property when you open your goods — or you could get a ticket.
Recently, Canada made marijuana recreationally legal in all provinces across the board. Adult use laws went into the books in July of 2018, and in most states, the age is the same as the drinking age.
In most Canadian provinces, the drinking age is 18 or 19 at the oldest.
Like the U.S., Canada also has laws about the amount of product you can possess at once. Don’t smoke in public and leave your stash at home or at the hotel when you’re out, and you’ll be fine.
Ganga, mon — it’s legal, right? Kind of. Jamaica’s government knows that part of their tourism industry relies on the weed trade, so yes, you can buy that joint on the beach.
The idea behind the partial legalization is that people use it for “therapeutic, medical, or religious purposes.” However, people (including natives) can get in trouble for having too much at one time, or selling large amounts.
Stick to keeping a joint or two with you and buy more as needed. If you don’t get hit up on the beach for it, ask your bartender at your hotel.
Don’t worry, they’re used to it, and there’s someone they can probably call. Just remember that if they do call their friend, they’ll arrive on island time. Which means it’s going to be Iry, just relax until they get there.
Even though you can buy weed in Mexico on the beaches — like you can in Jamaica — it’s a little less common. Plus, people are a little more hesitant to do so because of the heavily publicized drug cartel issues the country has.
But if you want to buy a joint while you’re there, fear not. They’re working on decriminalization regulations, which doesn’t make buying it legal, but it doesn’t make it illegal either.
Just don’t go all weeds and try to dig a tunnel under the border and into a women’s clothing store.
While not a lot of people are heading to the U.S. territory right now as it’s still recovering from Hurricane Maria, some of those people recovering can smoke their pain away.
We mean physical pain — medical marijuana being legal in Puerto Rico doesn’t reduce the damage the storms did.
There are official medical dispensaries on the island, but you’ll have to have a relevant Puerto Rico card to go in.
Heading to Eastern Europe? Your best bet is to not smoke while you’re over there — unless you have a real medical condition and a good understanding of the Polish language.
Yes, it’s medically legal but not decriminalized or available for recreational purposes.
If you’re dying to participate while you’re in Europe, take a train to the Netherlands. It’s legal all over the country, not just in Amsterdam.
To find it, you won’t go to dispensaries. You’ll go to coffee shops that have special signs on the window. Don’t worry — it’ll be obvious. BABA coffee shop is a favorite — try their space cakes (edibles).
Traveling with Marijuana
You should never cross any border while in the possession of drugs, even if you’re only traveling to countries where weed is legal.
The laws are all rather new, and crossing borders in possession is a federal crime. Throw it away or smoke it all before you go and don’t try to be clever about sneaking something in.
If you’re planning where to travel to study abroad, keep these countries in mind — or don’t. It’s all up to how much smoking or otherwise ingesting weed means to you.