/ 
July 7, 2011 03:04

The Next Amsterdam

With the Dutch coffeeshop gone south, what city will give us new hope?




By David Jenison

 

Amsterdam’s far-right politicians finally got their wish. No, they’re not selling the poor into slavery, but they did pass legislation last May to ban tourists and limit locals from the city’s famed coffeeshops. As the Dutch capital reverts back to tulips, clogs and windmill tours, which city will take the lead in cannabis tourism and become the New Amsterdam? Cape Town, Bogotá and Auckland are on the rise and Phnom Penh bakes a mean herb pizza, but these are CULTURE’s picks for the Top 5 heirs apparent.

 

5

Negril: What better place to sample Bob Marley’s inspiration than Jamaica, and seven miles of white sand and high cliffs make Negril the chill place to do it. Less touristy than nearby Montego Bay, Negril claims cred as a ’60s hippie enclave and keeps the party tradition alive with Appleton rum, ubiquitous smoke and ’shroom daiquiris at Tedd’s. The police widely tolerate cannabis use, but like green-friendly Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica, Jamaica loses points for excessive crime.

 

4

New Delhi: The ancient Hindu text Atharvaveda called cannabis one of the “five sacred plants,” and the cannabis-infused bhang is considered a sin-scrubbing holy drink. Even the Hindu deity Shiva enjoyed a good smoke. India, originators of the term ganja (from the Ganges River), made the plant illegal to relieve U.S.-led United Nations pressure, but stopping personal use is a low priority. As the name might imply, Paharganj is a popular neighborhood for acquiring smoke, though India is far more famous for its charas (hashish). If it’s good enough for Shiva . . .

 

3.

Vancouver: Canadian hockey fans clearly need to smoke more, and Vancouver is the place to do it. Not only does it boast some of North America’s best bud, Canada’s cannabis capital has a long activist history that includes the political BC Marijuana Party and the Woodstock-era Vancouver Yippies whose legal fund fought for hippie rights. U.S. political pressure (broken record alert) keeps cannabis illegal yet enforcement is lax. Good information on local smoke can be found at the appropriately named New Amsterdam Café.

 

2.

Vang Vieng: Laotian green may not be Barney’s quality, but this riverside party town has something that Amsterdam soon won’t, namely places where tourists can openly smoke. By paying off the police, certain bars can sell marijuana, magic mushrooms and opium joints that you can freely consume on the premises. Outdoor bars on the famed tubing route have even been known to throw in a free spliff with drink purchases, though smoke ’em on the river and not on the streets. For a socialist republic, Laos sure has some great capitalist ideas.

 

1.

Prague: The Velvet Revolution appears to have turned green. The so-called “Amsterdam of the East” has an estimated 400,000 cannabis users, which means it’s not just the Czech ladies who are smokin‘. Prague has one of the highest usage rates in the European Union, and the government recently knocked possession (up to five plants, five grams of hash and 15 grams of smoke) down to a misdemeanor. Taxi drivers and street sellers are a great source of oregano joints, but if you want the real thing, ask your friendly neighborhood bartender. Recommended spots include Chapeau Rogue and the Drunken Monkey.

 

 

 


HOLD ON, NOW!


 

At press time, we got word that the Dutch government’s plan to stop tourists from purchasing cannabis from its famed coffeeshops had run into a hurdle, the Associated Press reports. The country’s top legal advisory body, the Council of State, said that since the federal government technically bans cannabis sales, cities (like Amsterdam or the city the case sprung from, Maastricht) cannot regulate them. This might be just a technicality—the country’s prime minister said the ban will proceed—so we’ll keep you posted.

 

Also in Flash

Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:29
Available through Always Greenest Delivery.This Romulan ’91 nug is so frosty, it almost looks like a tiny disco ball! There are so many trichromes covering the excellent structure, it’s easy...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:46
Available at Delta-9 T.H.C. in Wilmington.Saturn is the most spectacular planet in our solar systems and of all the planetary named strains, Saturn OG is considered to rank right up there with th...
Available wherever Edipure products are carried.These peanut butter cookies by Edipure are really, really good. Maybe too good. Tasting just like the cookies you remember from childhood, there is...
Available at The Barn in Burton.Now this is something for the cannasseurs. Lemon seems to overwhelm this strain, but the piney after-notes keep it grounded. At 70/30 indica-dominant and 19.85 per...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:23
Available at Greenland Dispensary in Portland.This fruity sativa tastes sweet like a honeydew melon. Sold by Greenland Dispensary in Portland, these are some pretty skunky buds. When smoked, this...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:44
Available at Weed Care in Riverside.Pluto OG, which bears the last planet’s planetary strain name, is as amazing as the pictures from the New Horizons probe’s three-billion mile encounter wit...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:45
Available at HGH Collective in Corona.Dream Extracts’ motto, “Dabs Rule Everything Around Me,” which uses every letter in the word DREAM, is emblazoned across the top of the colorful packag...
Available at The Crown Collective in Mira Loma.As AU is the periodic chart symbol for gold, AU Gold Snow Cap Crumble can be read as Double Gold Snow Cap Crumble. Have no doubt that this legacy We...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 10:52
Available at So-Cal Co-Op in Woodland Hills.Named for the rap star for whom it was purportedly created, Master P could have had this potent strain in mind when writing his hit rap, “Make Em Say...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 09:59

Milo Greene will satisfy your soul with its unique sound

For the last five years, the Los Angeles quintet, Milo Greene, has dedicated itself to establishing the band as one of the hardest working acts in the indie rock world. When not diligently writing...
Aug. 5, 2015 - 03:57
Madden NFL 16 Pub. EA Sports Dev. EA Tiburon Available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 Release Date: August 25 If there’s one thing that gamers can count on,...
July 1, 2015 - 03:09
F1 2015 Pub. Codemasters Dev. Codemasters Birmingham Release: July 21 Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC The F1 game franchise has been exciting gamers with authentic F1 rac...
Aug. 6, 2015 - 11:20
Available at The Pole in Detroit.A very tasty strain; the parents of this 80/20 indica-dominant hybrid are Blueberry and Shining Silver Haze. With a sweet blueberry taste, you’ll want to get ca...