Curious about drugs, but too not curious about what the inside of a jail looks like?
Drug tourism is when someone travels to a country where drug laws are different and more permissive than at home in order to get wasted without breaking the law.
However rules can be murky and rumours aren’t always true.
Here’s my short guide to drug tourism hotspots. Needless to say, neither the author nor the publisher is encouraging you to take drugs or commit any illegal acts.
Note: Do you want to know more about drugs and backpackers? Check out The Broke Backpacker’s “Drugs on the Road” post!
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Mexico
Even the harshest drugs are completely legal in Mexico.
5 grams of marijuana; a half gram of cocaine. No worries. Even the harshest ones are permitted for personal use.
All drugs are legal, which is a fact many tourists are unaware of. Do be careful of police officers who regularly try to exploit that ignorance to shake down unsuspecting gringos for a bribe.
In the mountains of the province of Oaxaca, between the city of Oaxaca and the beaches of Puerto Escondido, lies the small town of San Jose del Pacifico, which has been a destination for drug tourists for decades. Magic mushrooms are especially popular here. Tourists can eat them or consume them infused in a tea. It’s not unusual to find intoxicated young tourists hanging out in the forests just outside of town.
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Long considered a Mecca for pot smokers, Amsterdam is the city of coffee shops. There, customers can order pot or hash right off the menu.
Some of these coffee shops also offer alternatives to marijuana use, such as inhaling vaporized THC or eating edible versions of the plant. Just remember, it’s illegal to smoke cigarettes in these cafes. Only cannabis use is allowed!
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Colorado and Washington State, USA
When voters in these two states legalized the recreational use of marijuana, they flung the door wide open for drug tourists from the US and abroad. Pot shops have popped up throughout bigger cities where visitors can buy up to a quarter of an ounce of marijuana for their personal use. Just remember to leave your leftovers behind when you head back home.
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Iquitos, Peru
Last but not least, we have Peru, which is known for its production of Ayahuasca, a drug used in shamanic rituals of the Amazon region and which is completely legal throughout the country. Ayahuasca is not to be taken lightly, however. Besides hallucinations, the drug’s other side effects include vomiting and diarrhoea. Plus, it has an indescribably horrible taste and can be poisonous in even small amounts. Better to leave this one to the shamans.
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Montreal, Canada
Though Quebec Gold, one of the most sought-after marijuana strains, is from Montreal, it’s not weed that puts Montreal in this list. It’s alcohol.
Montreal’s Molson family may have made their fortune illegally exporting beer to the United States during prohibition, but today, the alcohol rush is reversed. With a legal drinking age of just 18 years old, young partiers flock to Montreal from neighbouring cities like Toronto, where the minimum age for drinking alcohol is 19 years, and the United States, where legal age is 21. And finding a party in Montreal is easy. Trust me, I know!
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has decriminalized possession of marijuana and nearly all drugs. But be advised that a police officer finding you in possession of drugs still can sock you with a hefty fine. Still, a few bars on and around trendy Krymská street will look the other way if a customer wants to discreetly smoke a joint inside. That might be because this beautiful old world city isn’t on most drug tourists’ radar.
Guide to International Drug Tourism – Uruguay
In Uruguay, the government is your hook up. Not only is marijuana legal, it’s sold in “pharmacies” at the ridiculously low cost of about $1 per gram. Be advised, however, that only residents of Uruguay have the right to purchase, possess or consume marijuana.