Photo: Zack Spear
Cannabis culture is a global phenomenon that doesn't discriminate, promotes cooperation and speaks no hate. It's a shame that the herb it's connected to is still outlawed in most parts of the world.
You can’t take your best bud with you everywhere you go and the last thing you want to do is get in trouble with the law in an unfamiliar place. But, if you’re anything like us, cannabis is a core part of a relaxing vacation, so when you go to book your next vacay, consider these kick-ass cannabis-friendly locations.
Uruguay is the first country to legalize cannabis at a federal level, albeit with restrictions. Residents who have been there for at least two years can grow up to six plants at home and cultivate up to 480 grams annually. They can also purchase up to 40 grams a month or join cannabis clubs, where 15–45 individuals can harvest up to 99 plants collectively. What's the catch? Tourists can’t buy cannabis. What they can do is share with the ever-so-friendly citizens of Uruguay, stay at a Bud & Breakfast or even enjoy a cannabis tour. Beyond the $1 dime bags of weed, Uruguay also has a rich culture that’s becoming one the most progressive in the world. From their music to their food, Uruguay is the perfect international cannabis-friendly destination in Latin America.
Alaska isn’t on many people’s bucket lists, but those people are definitely missing out. The landscapes and vistas are beautiful (even if you can't actually see Russia), but being able to enjoy Alaska's views with some of the best bud in hand? That's something you just can’t beat. Residents of Alaska are allowed to possess up to one ounce of weed and grow six plants on their personal property. Tourists can rely on cannabis-friendly lodging where they can take in both the beauty of the state and the wonderful legalized herb.
While the herb is still technically illegal in the country, the recent decriminalization of cannabis has made the island even more appealing to tourists. Law enforcement officials have a reputation of turning a blind eye to tourists who decide to spark up on the friendly island and with the recent progress made by the government, it won’t be long before marijuana is completely legalized. Jamaica has one of the most deep-rooted cannabis cultures in the world. Combine that with quality bud, welcoming residents, warm weather, beautiful beaches and you’ll have yourself the vacation of a lifetime.
Colorado, one of the first states to legalize cannabis through popular ballot, has some of the best mountains, lakes and even city life in the whole nation. Whether you find yourself in downtown Denver or exploring the forests of Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll be able to enjoy it all with a joint in hand. Legally, an adult over 21 is allowed to possess one ounce of pot though it must be consumed on private property with permission from the owner. So just be careful if you decide to light up when enjoying the state's breathtaking views from anywhere other than your buddy's house.
Lately, it’s felt like the Netherlands have been going backwards when it comes to cannabis laws. With crackdowns on those who grow professionally threatening the livelihoods of the coffee shops where tourists buy bud, there may be less to do in Amsterdam than in years past. Lucky for you, tourists are exempt from laws that punish those who buy cannabis or smoke it at coffee shops in Rotterdam and Maastricht. Aim to adventure there when the tulips begin to bloom so that you can experience the best of both buds.
From Portland to the Oregon Coast, the wonderful tax-free state is also one of the best for legal bud. With rules similar to those of Alaska and Colorado (you have to be 21 or older and the cannabis has to be consumed on private property), the West Coast state offers a unique culture filled with hipsters, mountains, beaches and more breweries than we can count. Smoke some of your favorite bud and wander the cobblestone city streets over to Sizzle Pie for a slice of Portland’s best pizza. If city life isn’t for you, then find your way over to the coast for a good hike and enjoy the sound of the ocean as you venture over hills draped in greenery.
These locations have so much more to offer than just legal (or nearly legal) weed, and that’s exactly what makes them so appealing. Keep an open mind, take in all the unique facets of cannabis culture and slowly tick each of these destinations off of your bud bucket list.