Look Beyond Amsterdam: Five Countries Where You Can Legally Enjoy Weed

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Photo of Look Beyond Amsterdam: Five Countries Where You Can Legally Enjoy Weed by Varun Suchday

Way before the creation of the universe, the gods and the demons churned the great ocean in search of amrita, the potion of eternal life. Legend has it that some of the elixir drops fell onto the earth giving birth to the cannabis plants where it fell. The ancient Vedas consider Soma to be a secretion in the brain that results from spiritual practices of yoga, pranayama, mantra and meditation. Atharva Veda 11.6.15 - “We tell of the five kingdoms of herbs headed by Soma; may it and kuca grass, and bhanga and barley, and the herb saha release us from anxiety."

So, where on this planet can you legally partake the elixir of the ancient amrita churned out by the gods and the demons?

Let's start right at home. Marijuana is illegal in India. But, bhang is not only legal but also sold in government shops or shops approved by the government. How is bhang different from marijuana? According to dictionary.com, "bhang is a mild preparation of marijuana made from young leaves and stems of the Indian hemp plant, Cannabis sativa." Thanks to government regulations you can be assured of the fair quality and price of the bhang. At these shops, you can either buy bhang balls or have bhang lassis. The best places in India to find bhang are Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Varanasi, Mathura and Pushkar. Drink with precaution as it has a slightly different effect than marijuana.

Best time to visit: November to February.

How to reach: Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore are the major international airports with connections to Europe, Middle-East, the UK and the US.

Where to stay: Zostel Varanasi (₹349 dorm); Umaid Bhawan, Jaipur (₹3,000 double); Pushkar Heritage (₹1,982 double). For more options, check here.

For travel ideas and itineraries, check out Tripoto's India travel guide page.

Uruguay was the first country to completely legalize cannabis. It gave locals the right to sell, possess and cultivate cannabis. In fact, Uruguayan citizens can legally grow up to six plants for personal use. Recreational marijuana is readily available at pharmacies and it can be smoked anywhere. It is best enjoyed with Uruguayan parillas (barbeque meals). The country has 660km of coastline, so you know where you are heading once high. Colonia del Sacramento, Punta del Diablo, Cabo Polonio and Montevideo are 'high'lights of Uruguay.

Best time to visit: October to March.

How to reach: Round-trip flights from New Delhi to Montevideo, Uruguay cost around ₹101,739.

Where to stay: Vivaldi Hotel, Montevideo (₹3,930 double); Amaranto, Punta del Este (₹1,499 apartment). For more options, check here.

The world took notice when Uncle Sam decided to legally light the leaf of happiness. In 2012, the states of Washington and Colorado caused a stir in the US by legalizing recreational marijuana. It turned out to be a watershed moment. Six states and Washington DC followed suit. Now, you can legally enjoy marijuana in Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Washington DC. Northern lights, San Francisco, Boston and Las Vegas just got better. Girl Scout Cookies, Grand Daddy Purple, Chem Dog, Sour Diesel and OG Kush are some of the popular cannabis breeds available to the happy-go-lucky.

Best time to visit: April to October

How to reach: Round-trip flights from New Delhi to Los Angeles, California cost ₹45,376.

Where to stay: Libra Hotel, LA (₹1,398 double); Entella Hotel, San Francisco (₹3,907 double); Hilton Grand, Las Vegas (₹5,249 double). For more options, check here.

For travel ideas and itineraries, check out Tripoto's the US travel guide page.

Spain, or more specifically Barcelona is touted as the new Amsterdam. Rightfully so, some 400 cannabis clubs have opened in Barcelona since Catalonia legalised cannabis. There are over 700 cannabis clubs throughout Spain. Cannabis consumption is only permitted in private premises or in cannabis clubs so tread carefully. After a joint or two, Gaudi's masterpieces will appear under a new light. Freeze cheese, super skunk, white widow and Lemon Thai Kush are some of the popular herbs among the locals.

Best time to visit: June to November.

How to reach: Round-trip flights from New Delhi to Madrid cost ₹31,016.

Where to stay: Vincci The Mind, Madrid (₹6,851 double); Puerta de Sevilla (₹3,114 double); Yeah Barcelona Hostel (₹1,840 dorm bed). For more options, check here.

For travel ideas and itineraries, check out Tripoto's Spain travel guide page.

Nope, I am not high and this is not a trick. One of the world's weirdest nation is cool on cannabis. It is entirely legal to smoke, sell and cultivate as much cannabis as you wish. And, it's quite cheap as well with a kilo of herb costing around $6. You can buy marijuana in special economic zones. Not much else is known about weed's status in this highly secretive country.

Best time to visit: April to June and September to October.

Have you enjoyed the liberties of legally smoking the leaf on your travels? Write your own travelogue and share it with millions of other trippy travellers. And subscribe to Tripoto Youtube Channel for stunning videos.

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