European Cannabis Destinations
Amsterdam really needs no introduction to High Times readers. Its landmark coffee shop scene and the benefits that it brought to the city were prime arguments for marijuana-law reform in the United States throughout the 1970s and ’80s.
Don’t worry about those rumors of tourists being banned from buying pot; that’s only been happening in the smaller Dutch cities located on the country’s borders. Amsterdam still welcomes travelers age 18 and older in its coffee shops. You’re allowed to buy only 5 grams, though—and don’t smoke any tobacco inside, since the Dutch, like a number of American states, have banned almost all smoking indoors.
Barcelona, hosts Spannabis, the largest cannabis-community gathering in Europe, every March. Spain’s system of collective cultivation and social clubs has provided most people with access to quality marijuana without creating a commercialized storefront system.
Cannabis isn’t bought and sold here; rather, you need to be a member of a collective, and then you’ll get your share of the cannabis cultivated for all. One such collective, the Barcelona Cannabis Users Club, has over 5,000 members. But if you can’t find a friend to get you an invitation to join, you can always legally grow and possess cannabis in private.
Freetown Christiania is a neighborhood within the city of Copenhagen. This area, about one-eighth of a square mile in size and with roughly 900 residents, has its own law (the Christiania Law of 1989) that largely allows it to govern itself. Here, cannabis isn’t just tolerated—it’s sold in open-air marijuana and hashish markets on the unfortunately named Pusher Street.
You’ll want to stick to daytime visits to Christiania, though, and be sure you haggle for better prices. The rest of Copenhagen is reasonably tolerant of marijuana consumers, so long as you’re keeping to yourself and not bothering others with your smoke.