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Where to Find Your Weed-Smoking Kindred Spirits in Europe This Summer

Maureen Meehan

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It’s time for our annual list of best places to blaze this summer for you lucky European travelers.

As was the case last year, according to the 2017 Annual Drug Report, pot is still the most commonly-used illicit substance in Europe. Good job not getting bumped out of first place by some nasty dangerous drug!

Here is some advice on where in Europe to find the best bud and how to experience the least amount of hassle when lighting up:

Amsterdam, naturally, is on the top of the list.

As we’ve known, the famous coffee shops have been in a perpetually gray area since they sprung up in the 1970s. But, for the time being, cannabis tourism still rules—just make sure you’re over 18. Keep a copy of your passport or a photo ID available to prove that.

Spain also has muchos weed smoking opportunities in the form of cannabis clubs, where a membership can be purchased on the spot (again, be 18 or over and have an ID). These clubs can be found in Madrid, but are especially accessible in Barcelona, where there are now several hundred. Catalonia recently legalized cannabis and the regional government just passed a measure formally legalizing cannabis clubs.

Catalonia is in northeastern Spain and includes Barcelona, which hosts the biggest annual cannabis exhibition in Europe, Spannabis, now in its 14th year. So, if you’re in Spain in March, don’t miss experiencing Barcelona immersed in a beautiful haze of pot smoke and Mediterranean mist.

Then, there is Germany where medical marijuana is legal, but for general tokers, at least, it’s decriminalized.

That said, Germany is certainly moving in the right direction, as witnessed by the increased and interesting cannabis research projects they are undertaking.

Freetown Christiania in Denmark is a cozy autonomous neighborhood in Copenhagen, where weed is not just tolerated, but sold in open-air markets on the oddly named Pusher Street.

Then, on to Portugal, which became the first nation in the world to decriminalize all forms of personal drug use in 2001.

While it is still not officially legal to consume cannabis, you won’t get thrown in jail. Just don’t blow smoke in anyone’s face.

France, meanwhile is the European country where the most weed is smoked.

Small quantities are rarely prosecuted, as long as you can prove you have no links to production or trafficking. That may also be changing soon with the new government.

While decriminalization is not the same as being legal, it is certainly a step in the right direction and a relief to travelers, as well as locals.

These countries are pulling away from draconian laws and are essentially permitting certain amounts of possession.

Possession of up to 15 grams was recently decriminalized in the Czech Republic. Switzerland, Italy and Poland have also decriminalized possession of personal quantities.

And Italy, by the way, is actually becoming one of the most progressive countries in Europe for cannabis cultivation, production and innovation.

Bon voyage!

RELATED: The HIGH TIMES Guide to Flying with Marijuana
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