Four countries where pot is very well tolerated-and one surprising place where it's completely legal. (Hint: It's not the Netherlands.)
Depending on where you live, having drugs on you can result in a pretty harsh penalty. Like death, for instance, as has happened in China, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. In some places, the penalties are the equivalent of a gentle spanking, while other places let you go hog wild. With Proposition 19 about to turn California into a weed-lovers' paradise—where possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be perfectly legal for adults—we decided to take a look at five other places where you can get high, right now.
Technically not legal, but not totally illegal either, Canadian pot is famous for being a) great, b) easy to acquire, and c) easy to get away with smoking. It's currently legal for medicinal use in pill form by prescription, and to smoke, also by prescription from pot grown by doctors of Health Canada.
2. The Netherlands
Obviously the easiest place to smoke marijuana in the world, in public, and without risk of arrest—even though it's not technically legal there either. They use what's called non-enforcement on some soft drugs, like hash and marijuana.
Personal possession of small amounts of pot in Germany while not legal, is tolerated. Just don't smoke in public. Medicinal marijuana isn't legal, but the country will introduce the pills, called Sativex, to market, by prescription.
About ten years ago, Portugal one-upped the Netherlands and officially abolished all criminal penalties for personal possession of certain street drugs, including heroin, pot, coke, LSD, and others. As in, it's not illegal at all to possess or consume them. (Who knew?) Unsurprisingly, drug use and drug-related violence has gone way down (and with it, rates of HIV infection).
Spanish law gives a lot of leeway for what kinds of things people get into in their own homes, and has basically decriminalized individual pot possession—but not in public. Also, 16-year-olds can buy booze.