It’s high season for blowing off responsibilities, hitting the road, and heading for warmer climates. Wouldn’t you like to mix some weed into your tropical plans (or at least your tropical fantasies)?
Well, that’s why we give you this handy list of marijuana-friendly spots in the tropics. Hopefully you’ll be able to spend some time in a place where pristine beaches and potent cannabis go together – if only in your winter-addled mind.
The country that gave birth to Bob Marley is fast becoming a legal haven for potheads in search of warmer pastures. The Jamaican parliament voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of ganja last year. Medical marijuana is also allowed.
It’s a pretty good bet that Jamaica will eventually be one of the first nations to legalize pot completely. Marijuana is a critical part of the island’s economy, and the government has long tolerated the stoners in its midst.
That’s a big part of the reason for Marley’s success. Jamaica was hostile to his church, the Rastafarians, but the country still treated them better than most other places. The Rastas will soon be the first religious group in the world allowed to smoke weed for sacred purposes.
Mexican drug policy is in chaos, but the violence has yet to reach most of the nation’s tourist spots. What’s more, Mexico decriminalized possession of 5 grams or less last year.
Mexico City could soon legalize recreational pot entirely, allowing possession of up to an ounce without any penalty. Cultivation and sale remain illegal across Mexico, but that policy has never had much effect.
Weed is usually easy to find at resort towns and tourist attractions. The beach is usually the easiest place to find weed, although popular nightclubs also attract dealers.
This country is huge, hot, and lively. Plus, they speak Portuguese, the world’s sexiest language. But Brazil is also a great place to lay back on the beach, light up a fatty, and forget that you can’t stay forever.
Brazilians decriminalized simple possession in 2006, so it’s relatively safe to toke. They do mandate drug treatment and community service for possession, but that’s likely to change in coming years.
You should have no trouble finding good pot in Brazil. The nation is probably better known for producing massive amounts of cocaine, but weed is plentiful and relatively cheap.
And if anything does go wrong, it’s usually easy to get out of a scrape. Brazilian police love to trap tourists and then squeeze them for bribes, so as long as you have an ATM card with some extra cash, you’ll be fine.
4. U.S. Virgin Islands
In December, the good people of the Virgin Islands decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of pot. That makes it one of two U.S. territories to enact major cannabis reform in recent months (Guam adopted medical marijuana in November).
It’s easy to complain about American drug policy, but it’s hard to argue that there are many countries more tolerant of marijuana use. And that’s a strong point for the Virgin Islands, a place that reflects many of the attitudes of its territorial patron.
These four Caribbean islands just may be the most idyllic reaches of the United States, with crystal waters, lonely beaches, and tanned bodies. It’s easy to find weed here, especially on St. Thomas, where dealers can be found on Coki Beach.