Marijuana tourism is big business, circa 2015!
I was watching the first episode of this new show about the first legal “recreational” cannabis store in Colorado last night. The show is called High Profits and so far, tourism has rose significantly in the town of Breckenridge, Colorado. I highly recommend the show, by the way. If you’re not a pot smoker, it doesn’t matter; it’s interesting to see how they acquire their product — and the money that rolls through their shop every day!
I personally don’t partake (but once upon a time…) I believe in the legalization of this relatively innocent drug. Just think how many people die and are incarcerated every year because of this little, innocent plant that everybody and their great-grandma has access too. Tobacco is far worse and you’ll never see it outlawed — though perhaps it’ll become something you can only do in your own home or when visiting nature.
Why not legalize and regulate its cultivation and handling so nothing dangerous is put in it that can damage people’s health (like hairspray, for instance)?
I figured I’d put together a list of the 7 current places on the planet where it’s legal to buy and smoke the green stuff recreationally as of June 2015 (not where you can obtain a medical license, since that’s happening all over the place now).
Shockingly, most of the locations are located in the United States:
You might be surprised to see this South American country first on the list, but they are, in fact, the very first country to fully legalize the drug. Residents can grow up to six plants in their home even; without worry from authorities. However, it’s illegal for them to sell it privately. Prices are the best in the world at around $1 a gram (not a misprint) and they can possess up to 40 grams at a time. The government is currently working to set up a dispensary network to regulate prices, and to ensure they receive tax revenue from sales. This is a smart move if you ask me, as drug cartels make life hell for residents of this continent, and allowing the free cultivation and consumption of the drug must surely be a major hit to their business (within the country that is).
2. The Netherlands￼
Of course, this is stating the obvious, right? We’ve all heard about the world famous “coffee shops” where you can buy any sort of strain including the grass, various extracts, infused beverages, cookies and magic mushrooms too! Definitely a cool place to go if you want to blaze up around an interesting mix of other smoke-happy tourists and free-living Dutch folks. Weed is actually illegal here, but the law isn’t enforced. It is definitely illegal to smoke in public — outside your home or the coffee shops — AND it’s really considered illegal for any non-resident to possess or smoke any illicit drugs. So watch where you smoke and avoid looking like a tourist at all costs!
3. North Korea!
What an extreme shocker that such a tightly-governed communist country would be one of a few to allow the possession and consumption of drugs. Of course, it’s not an easy place to get into, effectively a lottery and strict screening process is in place for selecting who can visit here. Defectors claim you can buy the green freely here, and that it also grows in the wild all over the countryside. Defectors have gone as far as to claim that the government secretly exports the dried and cured product to procure foreign dollars!
4. Oregon, USA
Another beautiful mountainous state. I love Oregon! Weed possession has been somewhat legalized here since the late 90’s allowing for the possession of small amounts for personal possession without fear of criminal prosecution; not for cultivation or legal sale. In 2014, they passed a bill allowing for the cultivation, consumption and of course; state taxation of the drug. Hold your horses though, the law doesn’t officially come into effect until July this year. Hike the Appalachian in summer 2015 and enjoy some sensi in peace!
5. Colorado, USA
It looks like most states are going to be legalizing the herb in the near future for recreational purchase and consumption. Though I wouldn’t hold out much hope in most areas of the Bible Belt just yet! The Breckenridge Cannabis Club is located right in the downtown strip of the tourist ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Though they are expected to move to the outskirts of the city after their lease is up (due to town politics and despite generating $15,000 or more in tax revenue daily!) Expect to pay $60 a gram for the pleasure though. Weed’s expensive in the USA!
6. Washington, USA
Dispensaries are located throughout the “Evergreen State” but you can smoke it behind closed doors only, outside the view of the public. You can buy and possess up to an ounce at a time without fear of the po-po taking you down, if you’re 21 years of age or older. Contradictions still exist though. Read this. Somehow, it’s illegal — but it isn’t? (if you live there, feel free to clear things up for me and others in the comments please).
7. Alaska, USA
The fourth current state to allow recreational consumption of Mary Jane, Alaska is the most recent to allow its use in late 2014. They passed their law after Oregon, but it went into effect back in February of this year. Residents can also grow up to six plants like our friends in Uruguay. There’s one caveat to this beautiful, largely untamed wilderness of a state: You won’t be able to buy your weed at a dispensary until sometime in 2016. Meaning that as a tourist, you can still get arrested if police see you buying from a local, as sale is only legal if you buy it from a state-registered marijuana retailer.
Main image by Patrick Humphries