Ganja Island Paradises
The Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Its residents are US citizens, but they can’t vote for president and have only one nonvoting delegate in Congress. But they do have their own territorial government, which in 2014 voted to decriminalize marijuana, reducing personal possession to a maximum fine of $200.
Helping lead the charge was Senator Terrence “Positive” Nelson, a Rastafarian lawmaker who is working to create cannabis-trade policies that will benefit poor Caribbean nations. The islands also boast the kind of gorgeous aquamarine waters and perennial warm temperatures that make marijuana even better.
Negril is everything you imagined Jamaica to be: images of Bob Marley and sounds of reggae music everywhere you go; warm afternoon rains followed by hot sun as you enjoy a hand-rolled joint while drinking rum punch on a white sand beach.
Despite the abject poverty that exists on the island, the people here are beautiful and friendly—and to make a living, many of them sell ganja freshly picked right off the mountain within the past week. Jamaica has been steadily decriminalizing marijuana for religious and medical use, and recreational possession is a minimal fine—but you’d have to smoke in front of a cop to earn it.
Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington is the capital of this gorgeous island country that provided much of the landscape for the Lord of the Rings movies. Like those pipe-weed-smoking Hobbits, New Zealanders consume a lot of cannabis—in fact, their rate of consumption has outpaced the United States’ over the last few years.
But you have to be careful: Cannabis is still illegal here, and personal possession can result in a $500 fine and up to three months in jail.But this is also a place where cannabis activists once pushed a shopping cart full of burning weed into a police station, so cool people are everywhere!