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Greece has a history of production and consumption for recreational reasons as well as medical ones.

The Greek physician Pedanius Dioscoride described cannabis properties in his book de materia medica beneficial effects of cannabis are described. (apparently the juice is very good for earache- will try that next time!!).

Recently the Greek government has legalised medical marijuana for a number of symptoms as of writing recreational marijuana hasn’t been given the same privilege. It does seem that you could still go to prison for 5 months for possession of more than .5 grams (which is not very much!!) . However, evidently Greece is going through some very big changes with regards to their view of marijuana and it will be interesting to see where that is going.

Marijuana is not too difficult to find in Greece, there are often dealers to be found in the city squares and street corners, as well as in some of the parks. But due to the harsh laws (relative to other European countries), both dealers and punters tend to be very wary. It is rather easier to find it in the beach resorts during the summer. But by far the best way is to know someone local.

 

Coffee Shops in Madrid: How to Become a Member 

Madrid coffee shops are private by law; they are quite different from Amsterdam’s coffee shops or American dispensaries. The basic difference is that they are a private association of people who share a same interest: Cannabis. We get several hundred emails each month from people asking questions about the cannabis social clubs in Madrid, or coffee shops, and it’s obvious that there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you’re looking to get a membership at a coffee shop in Madrid, it’s important that you understand that you will have to qualify & observe several rules & points.

How to Join a Social Cannabis Club in Madrid, Spain

Madrid coffee shops are private – you cannot just walk in and join. You need to be sponsored by a current member of the club, and you need to complete an application with that sponsor present (in most cases), and pay a registration fee. Sometimes a review and approval process are applied. Act like a disinterested tourist or a rowdy party boy and you will be rejected.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP NOW

The United Kingdom has a very strong past in relation to drugs. Long before the cartels were shooting up South America, the UK was involved in a drug war on a much larger scale ---the opium wars.  However, the purpose of this piece is to concentrate on a far less lethal drug marijuana. 

Prior to 1928 cannabis was a relatively unknown and little used drug, although its use was starting to be restricted from that date. This situation was then made even worse by the passing of the misuse of drugs act 1971. To give you an idea of the total clampdown unleashed by that law. In 1973 11,111 people were convicted for possession of cannabis, some even going to prison. Today cannabis is a class B drug (although for a brief period 2005 to 2012 it was downgraded to a class C drug, and some cannabis clubs briefly appeared). Today it remains a class B drug and you can get 28 days in prison for possession of just 3 grams.  Generally, the drug is confiscated and a warning issued. (although 3 warnings and in you go).

The Swiss laws on cannabis possession have traditionally been relatively relaxed. In the early 1990s, Switzerland developed a four-pillar approach to drug policy with the first pillar being prevention, the second treatment, the third harm reduction, and the fourth law enforcement. Thus, prevention and treatment are prioritized over criminalization of users.

In Switzerland cannabis possession is illegal, though minor possession was decriminalized in 2012. Several cantons began to allow adults to cultivate and use cannabis in 2012, but this was struck down by federal courts. In 2016, four cities stated they were investigating the establishment of pilot cannabis clubs. There are around 500,000 cannabis users out of a population of 8 million. 

If one thinks in Colombia suddenly two images come up: Pablo Escobar & Coke. This country is totally committed in efforts to eradicate cocaine production, so the police and the law enforcement officials have to be on heightened alert for what they assume might be marijuana or coke possession and or usage. Both marijuana and cocaine are illegal in Colombia, but the attempts to enforce it are somewhat lax, and often conducted by extremely corrupt law enforcement officials. Bribery is a way out of any situation, but your best bet is to not flaunt your usage and smoking in public, and above all, BE CAREFUL! Cops here can search you under any pretext (and without provocation).

Generally, the Russian police are not very keen on marijuana. However, it seems that the new law has decriminalised possession of marijuana, apparently possession of up to 6 grams is a small fine (I have read as low as $10), however, up to 30 grams is a higher fine and possibly some community service.

Viktor Ivanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said drugs would never be legalized in Russia.

Little Russian marihuana Dictionary:

dudka, trava, chai (“tea”) – weed

gydra, gydrapon – hydroponics weed

boshki, bohi, shishki – buds

Davai dunem/nakurimsja – let’s smoke!

Ti mogesh namutit’ mne travi/dudki/gashisha? – Can you deal weed/hash for me?

Today (mainly due to Dutch influence), the terminology ‘coffee shop’ has taken on a second meaning as one of a place to smoke or to take marijuana. 

Logically coffee shops originally referred to shops or establishments which sold coffee (believe it or not!!). The first coffee shop which opened in London was founded by Pascua Roséé in 1652, apart from coffee and tea they also served chocolate etc. This later became known as the Turks head. Coffee shops (often referred to as coffee houses), were very popular.  The Prussian nobleman Baron Charles Louis von Pollnitz, who visited London in 1728, described them as one of the great pleasures of the city. He describes how it is “a Sort of Rule with the English, to go once a Day at least” to coffee-houses “where they talk of Business and News, read the Papers, and often look at one another.”  Some very famous companies even started as coffee houses. Lloyds of London, an insurance brokerage company, began as Edward Lloyd’s coffee house on Tower Street around 1688. They were primarily male only establishments. As this poster illustrates women weren’t too happy about this situation. (the year 1674).

At the moment the USA is leading the way in the battle to legalise and make marijuana more accessible. Currently there are four states in which marijuana is legal for recreational use in the United States. They are Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Washington, D.C., also allows the recreational use of marijuana. Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California have also voted to allow recreational use. So about 21% of Americans live in a state where it is legal to use marijuana for recreational use.

USA is becoming more cannabis friendly by the day as Washington DC became the latest place where the smoking and possession of cannabis is legal.

The capital of the United States has allowed the recreational use of weed after the states of Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon have already amended their laws.

Residents and visitors can now have as much as two ounces (56 grams) of cannabis on their person and can even grow up to six plants at home – provided they are over the age of 21.

However, smoking spliffs on the streets of Washington would be prohibited as it is only allowed in private places. Buying and selling cannabis remains illegal outside of licensed shops.

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