Marijuana Tourism

Five Faves: High Times – Five Favorite Cruise Ports to Celebrate 4/20 (Huh Huh)

Porthole‘s Five Faves

High Times

Five Favorite Cruise Ports to Celebrate 4/20 (Huh Huh)

4/20. For those who don’t know the significance of this number, we’ll fill you in. It’s basically a code word in the cannabis culture that essentially implies: It’s time to smoke pot. And for those who already knew that (wink wink), we’re sharing our five favorite ports where you can spend some time before, during, or after your cruise lighting up legally.


We can’t kick off a pot-smoking blog with any other city besides our personal fave: Amsterdam. No, you can’t just walk around the city smoking a joint, so instead head to one of the city’s approved coffee shops where you can. In Amsterdam, soft drugs such as marijuana (and others such as hallucinogenic mushrooms) are legal under condition of “personal use.” So grab a seat in a café, hang with friends both old and new, and then head out to explore Amsterdam’s super-cool neighborhoods by foot, bike, or canal boat ride.


As of December 2012, the state of Washington passed a law that allows adults over the age of 21 to purchase (in state-approved retail stores) up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Of course, you can’t smoke in public, so if you’re not hanging out with a local friend, check with your hotel to see where you can partake, and then make your away around this Pacific Northwest jewel. From music and nature to cuisine and culture, the Seattle scene offers something for every state of mind.


Similar to Washington, Alaska’s law allows those ages 21 and over to possess, use, and grow a limited amount of marijuana (up to one ounce). Since it’s a fairly new law, it’ll take some more time, but stay tuned for shops selling legal recreational marijuana to open, perhaps as soon as this year. Here, too, you’re not allowed to consume marijuana in public (doing so will carry a $100 fine), so for now you’ll have to find a private place to partake, before going out and discovering the best of Alaska. Nowhere else will you see such amazing scenery, no matter through what lens.


It may surprise you, but Jamaica’s once-strict marijuana laws were amended earlier this year to partially decriminalize small amounts of pot (less than two ounces). Although these new amendments basically affect residents, tourists can nonetheless rest easier as well: If you’re caught smoking marijuana, you’ll most likely face a fine of around $100 (about the price of your average shore excursion). If you’re wondering where to buy the green stuff after stepping ashore and before the Bob Marley tour, don’t sweat it — you’ll find it. (Or so we hear.) Might we also recommend a relaxing river-rafting ride down the Martha Brae?


From amazing architecture to tasty tapas, the cities of Spain await with so much for our curious altered open minds to explore. Although the drug laws are complicated in Spain, marijuana is not criminalized as long as you smoke in private. (If you get caught smoking in public, you’ll be faced with a fine of around $300.) Cities such as Barcelona even boast “cannabis clubs,” similar to Amsterdam’s coffee houses but for members only. Something to check out while planning your pre- or post-cruise Spanish stay?



By the way – whatever the laws are where you travel (and since laws change, it’s a good idea to double check what’s legal in port at the time you’re cruising) – you still can’t take pot back aboard your ship. Are you high?


— Jodi Ornstein

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Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!