Drugs have always existed alongside human civilization, from ancient Mexicans using peyote in their religious ceremonies to New York yuppies addicted to caffeine. No matter how many times governments criminalize drugs, it is undeniable that humans have and will always have an interesting relationship with mind-altering substances.
One of the reasons people enjoy using drugs is the high that they experience from it. If you’ve always wanted to try getting high without the risk of getting arrested, you’ll be happy to know there are a number of countries where you can do just that. Here are four thrilling travel destinations with a flourishing and legal drug culture.
The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
Thanks to its notably relaxed drug laws and high tolerance for drug use, Amsterdam is always at the top of any list of countries where you can enjoy a good high. In the capital city of the Netherlands, you can walk into a coffeeshop (their name for designated areas where you can smoke weed and purchase soft drugs) and browse a menu with all the drugs they have for sale.
Amsterdam classifies drugs into two types: soft drugs, which are legal, and hard drugs, which are illegal. Soft drugs include different kinds of cannabis like weed, hash and oil, and psychoactive mushrooms. Heroin, LSD, cocaine, and morphine are considered hard drugs and are therefore forbidden. Minors are not allowed to use any type of drugs.
Czech Republic (Prague)
Many drugs are legal to possess in small quantities in the Czech Republic. Particularly, people are allowed to carry up to five ecstasy pills and 1.5 grams of meth and heroin for personal use. Marijuana was recently decriminalized, and now, people can possess a maximum of 15 grams of flower and 5 grams of hashish, all for personal use.
Aside from possession, growing up to five cannabis plants is also allowed at home. The tolerant policies as well as thriving tourism have given the capital city of Prague a reputation as party capital for its many drug-friendly clubs where you can get high on weed and ecstasy. Some bars also said to sell soft drugs over the counter.
Mexico may be notorious for its violent cartels and for being at the center of the War on Drugs launched by the US and by Mexican president Felipe Calderón, but this country actually has initiated some liberal policies on drug use in recent years.
In 2009, it has become legal in Mexico to possess drugs for personal use in small quantities. Specifically, you are allowed to possess 50 milligrams of heroin, 5 grams of cocaine, and 0.015 grams of LSD. Take note that using and growing cannabis is still illegal in Mexico, but you can wait a few more years for this to change because policies for its full legalization are underway.
Portugal is one of the countries at the forefront of initiating progressive drug laws. Since the nation decriminalized the possession of small quantities of all kinds of drugs in 2001, drug use among youths as well as cases of HIV and drug overdose has notably decreased. It is also not considered a criminal offense to possess up to ten days’ worth of drugs.
Take note that cannabis is illegal in Portugal, but the drug is is still very widespread. Additionally, the country has a thriving legal hemp market with stores all over that sell all kinds of hemp products.
But First, a Few Reminders
Despite these relatively gentler policies on drug use, you still have to consider your own physical condition. Your allergies and other preexisting conditions, as well as your tolerance for drugs, still affect your use of any drug.
If you happen to work in any of the aforementioned countries, take note too that you may need to pass workplace drug testing, as employers may have zero-tolerance policies at work. This is applicable especially if you’re in the health-care industry and other sectors where safety is critical, such as in operating machines.
Keep in mind too that drug laws are ever shifting in different parts of the world. So before you pack your bag and travel to an exciting new country, seeking a nice high, do your research and make sure you are fully prepared for the policies that lie ahead.