Marijuana is illegal everywhere. Even in Amsterdam it isn’t legal… it’s just tolerated. Anytime anywhere, if you’re looking for dope you’re in danger of trouble with the law, dealers, being forced to watch people play video games while simultaneously playing 90’s hip hop really loudly, getting ripped off and general paranoia. So there’s my disclaimer, and please know that I’ve only had experience buying pot in places where the legal repercussions are relatively minimal. I’m cautious like that.
Generally, marijuana is sold in sketchy places. If you’re going on vacation, I recommend looking in the guidebook for where it tells you not to go. There’s probably pot sold there. One time I went to Madrid and found a section of the guidebook warning me not to go to the Parque del Buen Retiro at night, as sub-Saharan African men would leap out from the bushes, hissing chocolate – their term for hashish. I’m sure you can imagine exactly what I did with a friend, late one night. Along the way we found some Spaniards who gave us further instructions, warning that we would be overcharged and to pay half what they tried to sell it for. And then when the guy selling the hashish got creepy and started hitting on my friend, I made up an impromptu excuse, telling him that we were staying with a SeÃ±ora and that we had to be back by midnight. Personal vignettes aside, here are my suggestions for hooking up the dope:
1. First and foremost, be safe.
2. Check first in the most obvious places… like your guidebook. If you’re in your hometown or somewhere that doesn’t have a guidebook, do a little online research about places to avoid for that very reason. If these places to avoid also involve arms trades, dog fighting, women of easy virtue and/or other, harder drugs like meth, speed or heroin, please refer back to point 1.
3. If this information isn’t available, go to places where people like to relax… a park or a beach or a cafe with a patio. Maybe just chill out and go get a drink. Sometimes the subject just comes up naturally if you’re imbibing and get to talking with some locals.
4. Dress the part. Nobody is going to sell you jack shit if you look like an undercover cop.
5. Don’t buy from someone who looks like an undercover cop. I started to write cop but wrote pot instead. Yes, follow these instructions and be smart like me.
6. Be relaxed yet vigilant. Walk along like you have a destination, don’t amble about looking hopefully at every questionable character, hoping that they’ll have a sign stating, “weed sold here.”
7. Make friends with hippies. If you see a group of scraggly people standing around emitting a pungent herbal smell, go chat with them. They may know where to score or who to talk to.
8. Have an escape plan. You should always have the vague outline of a story in the back of your head… somewhere you need to be at a certain time and someone who will be waiting for you there.
9. Know your prices. Pot is generally sold as an 8th of an ounce, or 3.5 grams, and it’s usually $50. I’ve spent more on really good pot and I’ve spent less when getting a discount or buying someone’s homegrown. Ideally, get it weighed in front of you so that there’s no doubt about how much you’re getting. If this isn’t possible, squish the pot in the baggie between your fingers… it should be roughly the equivalent amount of a standard sized cigar. Density varies, but this is a good rule of thumb.
10. This said, if you really want weed and it looks a little small, just buy the damn thing and don’t get shanked squabbling over prices. Squabble once you have a steady dealer, but if it’s a stranger just be cool, dude.
11. Holy shit, be safe. Don’t get arrested or killed or kidnapped over this! Totally not worth it.
Happy toking! If you need advice on joint rolling or making a pipe out of a carrot, let me know.