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The ultimate “cannabis connoisseur” tour

The annual celebration of all things cannabis happening just south of the border
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Heather Cleland, April 19, 2013 11:47:42 AM

For over four decades, 420 has been a symbol of marijuana culture which stands for 4:20 pm, the “generally accepted” time for smoking the stuff, or April 20th (4/20), the unofficial annual marijuana appreciation day. This April 20th the air will be a little bit hazier in Denver, Colorado, the capital city of one of two U.S. states that recently legalized pot smoking.

The first annual US Cannabis Cup will be held here on Saturday. This world-renowned event has been going on for 20 years, but it’s always happened in Amsterdam, and this is the first time it has made the move to North America. The event, organized by High Times magazine, brings together some of the best pot and pot products the country has to offer. Judges from around the world sample the products and vote for their favourites. Want to be a judge? That’s cool, just pay the extra fee.

There are lots of other events going on this weekend in Denver, including workshops and concerts (Snoop Lion, Cypress Hill, Slightly Stoopid, Redman and Method Man will be in town). There’s also a 420-themed wedding planned for 4:20 on 4/20. How romantic.

World Cannabis Week has organized highly sought after 420 Tours for those visiting the city for the events. Their package gets you 420-friendly transportation to your 420-friendly hotel (which you’ll get at a discounted rate), guided tours, access to events, seminars, cooking with weed classes, daily happy hours at 4:20 and lots of opportunity to sample local products. It’s still illegal to buy and sell marijuana under U.S. federal law without a doctor’s recommendation. Public use of the drug is also not permitted under Colorado’s state law, however, authorities generally allow public pot smoking at special events such as festivals and concerts.

Top 10 places to legally smoke weed

  1. Colorado or Washington: The only two states that have voted to legalize marijuana for personal use.
  2. Amsterdam: Needs no introduction.
  3. Czech Republic: Pot is decriminalized in the Czech Republic
  4. Germany: Laws allow you to have up to 8 grams of pot, or up to 10 in Berlin.
  5. Belgium: Decriminalized, and up to 3 grams is tolerated.
  6. Australia: Personal use is decriminalized in some states, but still an offence in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania.
  7. Portugal: Portugal has a very progressive drug policy and you won’t be charged if you possess fewer than 25 grams of marijuana, though you could be sentenced to rehab if you’re a repeat offender.
  8. Argentina: You’re legally allowed to possess small amounts of weed here, but consumption must be done in private.
  9. Vancouver: While it’s not legal in Canada, personal marijuana use in Vancouver is generally ignored by the authorities.
  10. Peru: Marijuana isn’t legal here but you won’t be punished if you have fewer than 8 grams and no other drugs on you.

Disclaimer: This is not to be taken as legal advice. Marijuana is still considered a drug around the world and even if the laws are lenient, you could run into issues with the authorities. And while possession of small amounts might be overlooked, the rules around buying and selling may be totally different. Always look into the rules and regulations of your destination before you travel.

Closer to home
Head out on one of Vancouver’s Vansterdam Pot Tours to learn about all things marijuana on the West Coast. Led by “expert pot smoking professionals,” the tours might take you to some of the city’s best smoking spots, teach you about the city’s drug history, walk through legal grow operations, introduce you to prominent pot activists and more. Tours are customized to the group’s needs and desires and include, ahem, all equipment necessary.

Vancouver’s Cannabis Culture shop and Amsterdam Cafe

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Heather Cleland

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