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The Most Medical Marijuana-friendly Countries in the World
In California, medical marijuana card holders are blessed when it comes to how the state views MMJ. Not only does the Golden State have some of the laxest medical marijuana laws in the country, but it is also only mere months away from legalizing the plant for MMJ card holders and recreational users alike.
Although Californians have a tendency to see their state as the center of the universe, it is not the only place that has such open-minded medical marijuana laws. Countries all around the world have similar laws whereby MMJ card holders gets to enjoy the same type of freedom you get here at home. Let’s take a whirlwind tour of the most medical marijuana-friendly countries in the world
Amsterdam has long been lauded for its relaxed attitude toward medical marijuana.
Where else could you start except for in the weed capital of the world? This northern European country has long been lauded for its relaxed attitude toward marijuana in general and medical marijuana in particular. It should come as no surprise that the Netherlands’ medical marijuana program is probably the best in the world with huge amounts of government money going toward research to better it even further. MMJ users in the Netherlands have two options when it comes to obtaining the plant: informally from a recreational dispensary or formally through a pharmacy. Accessing marijuana in the Netherlands is as easy as you’re going to find anywhere else in the world with about 700 weed dispensing “coffee shops” spanning the country.
Jamaica is seen by some as the beating heart of the global marijuana community; however, for a country with such a prolific and well-documented history of promoting the plant’s recreational use, Jamaica only actually decriminalized the possession of marijuana in 2015. Nowadays, with the bureaucratic nightmare of decriminalization behind them, Jamaica is every ounce the MMJ mecca that it has always been believed to be. It even has a cannabis licensing authority that is in charge of the cultivation and distribution of the plant for medical and scientific purposes. Although MMJ is not easily accessible to everyone in Jamaica, if you have your California medical marijuana card on you when you’re traveling to the country, you can get a permit in the airport for a few dollars that will allow you to consume MMJ wherever you want.
Uruguay hit the headlines in 2013 for becoming the first country in the world to completely legalize marijuana, which destroyed the country’s powerful drugs cartels. In Uruguay, you’re welcome to grow up to six plants of your own at home or acquire some from the state-controlled marijuana dispensary program — and you don’t need a medical marijuana card to do so. Although this program has had some teething problems, nowadays, the price for MMJ is so low that everyone can afford it, which means that those in vital need of its healing powers can access it easily. Uruguay has been somewhat of a trailblazer on the South American weed scene. Since the legalization of the plant in 2013, Chile and Colombia have followed suit, and more are set to follow.
Canada has had a medical marijuana program since 2001.
Our northerly neighbors may not have total legalization yet — they’re working on it! — but they do have a pretty great medical marijuana program that has been in place since 2001. In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in Canada, you must have a diagnosis and a recommendation for MMJ use from a licensed physician. Then you can acquire the plant from any of the 29 licensed producers who are accessible from every corner of the country. According to recent data, about 29,000 Canadians are now benefiting from the wonder plant.
Believe it or not, Israel is also a trailblazer when it comes to medical marijuana research. It was an Israeli scientist who was one of the first researchers to identify cannabidol (CBD) and who later determined the structure of tetrahyrdocannabidiol (THC). Ever since the 1960s, the small Middle Eastern country has been refining the study of the plant, and in 1992, it approved marijuana for medical use. Today, around 25,000 Israeli patients use the plant to treat a whole host of ailments.
Although MMJ is not widely accepted through the entire Scandinavian country — you could see yourself slapped with a fine for openly consuming outside of the Christiania district of Copenhagen — the Danish attitudes to cannabis are pretty lax. Medical marijuana has been legal in Denmark since 2011, and all you need is a prescription to legally acquire and consume it. Although only three types of cannabis are legal for medical use — sativex, marinol and nabilone — a whopping 88 percent of Danish people are in favor of the total legalization of all types of medical marijuana.
As attitudes start to become more liberal and more parts of the world start to open their eyes to the wonders of medical marijuana, you’ll begin to see more countries become havens for both MMJ card holders and recreational users. Unfortunately, some areas have quite a long way to go when it comes to marijuana acceptance, but overall, the world seems to be moving in a more weed-friendly direction than ever before.
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Blog The Top 10 Cannabis-Friendly Countries For The Traveling Stoner
The Top 10 Cannabis-Friendly Countries For The Traveling Stoner
Published: March 16th, 2018
Categories: Cannabis Info • Fun Stuff
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.
2. CANARY ISLANDS
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.
4. THE UNITED STATES
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.
10. CZECH REPUBLIC
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.
COUNTRIES YOU’RE BETTER OFF AVOIDING
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.
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 to avoid.