A Primer on Safely Acquiring Weed While Traveling Abroad

Look for happy people! (Photo by Jefferson Matthew VanBilliard)

So you’ve gotten time off work, the neighbors are watching your dog, and you’ve checked into your flight. The only thing you have left to do is get to the airport, right? Wrong. While you were busy thinking about which outfits you were going to wear each day for the optimum amount of Instagram likes, you failed to plan for the one thing that makes a vacation an actual vacation: that sweet stinky chronic.

Sure, if you’re a six-foot-tall bronzed goddess from OC, you probably don’t have to worry about the everyday struggles of securing some jazz cabbage in a foreign place. For all of us who happen to live in the real world where drinks cost money and drugs aren’t cheap, maybe some of my personal experiences with traveling abroad with my girl Mary will help you with your next green getaway.

Let’s pretend that you’ve never smoked a single bud in your life. Focus on how terrible that feeling is because for most of the places I’ve been on vacation you might as well be Jeff Sessions. Once you’ve unpacked and made your way into the hustle and bustle of the city you’ve chosen to fly into without any herb, it’s time to find a complete stranger and see if he’s willing to:

  1. Give you drugs in exchange for money;
  2. Not rip you off even though there’s literally no reason for them not to.

Sounds pretty fun, right? No, no it doesn’t, which is why you don’t go up to strangers and ask about pot. Basically, buying weed in a tourist trap like Tijuana is exactly the same as buying it on Hollywood Boulevard: It’s gonna suck and you’re probably going to get ripped off, except this time it will be in Spanish. I’ve never had much success in my attempts at finding cannabis abroad and it’s probably because I’m a weirdo when I’m not stoned. My best advice is to just play it cool; depending on where you’re at you probably have at least a 50 percent chance of seeing someone smoking cannabis if you stay up past 10 p.m. This is the part where your people skills come in. Crack a joke, offer them a drink or, if you’re hot, try flirting a bit and I’m sure that person will be happy to share. After all, nobody likes smoking alone.

Depending on where you’ve decided to book your next getaway you can also let technology do the heavy lifting when it comes to searching for some decent kush. A recent trip to the island of Hawaii had the potential to be a cannabis-less disaster, but after a quick Instagram search for “pakalolo,” island slang for flowers, I was able to meet a stranger in a 7/11 parking lot. Once the goods were exchanged for money, I made my way back to the hotel with a decent-sized stash for the rest of my adventure in paradise, and the local police force was none the wiser.

For every successful attempt at capturing that perfect vacation high, I’ve had an opposite experience as well. In Mexico, where most of the flowers I have seen have been just a notch above ditch weed, getting anything that isn’t oregano is considered a success story. Maybe it’s because the cartels can make better money selling heroin, or maybe it’s my own fault for trusting a grown man named Flacko, but I’ve had better smoking sessions in high school than I’ve ever had while south of the border.

Europe can be a toss up. Most of the UK has cannabis available, but it’s going to cost you. Your best bet while trying to procure some pot is to head to a populated city area and try not to look like a cop, or worse, a dumb tourist who is likely to get ripped off. It’s always been easy for me because the streets raised me, but for those of you that aren’t given a G-pass to the city, try finding the person who looks the happiest; he or she is likely to have what you need.

Barcelona’s gothic quarter is a haven for cannabis enthusiasts. All along its historic streets are men selling Spanish lagers for five euros with a bonus option of the sticky icky for an added fee. France can be a bit of a challenge due to the language barrier, but most parks and river sides have provide plenty of options if you’re willing to do the legwork.

Since most of Asia and the Middle East view cannabis as quite possibly the worst thing ever, I’ll just go ahead and pretend that they don’t exist. If you do manage to find some buds while scaling the Great Wall of China or while visiting Japan’s famous Shibuya district, you’re either very well connected or you’re just a better stoner than I am. Either way it’s dangerous and not worth the heavy sentence handed down from Johnny Law.

My personal favorite method of ensuring that my vacation doesn’t suck is to just bring my stash with me. For legal purposes, our lawyers have informed me that I’m not supposed to tell you that bringing along unopened and unmarked vape pens is an easy solution to your weed drought. I’m also definitely not supposed to say that you can store edible cannabis candy with other candy and say that it’s a snack for the flight. When all else fails, you probably shouldn’t mail yourself a package to the hotel you’re staying at using standard USPS shipping because they need a warrant to open the package.

Again, stay safe and remember that if you do end up drier than a desert during your next getaway there’s plenty of cannabis for you when you return. Happy smoking!

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