What’s the first thing you think of when you hear about marijuana culture? For Americans, it could be the annual 4/20 celebration filled with parades and marches through the streets of pro-weed cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. Our team here at Pacific Seed Bank wanted to learn more about international marijuana culture and how it’s celebrated around the world.

For the people of The Netherlands, it could be cannabis cafés and a joint with a cappuccino on the side. For Jamaicans, it could be Rastafarian music, Bob Marley, and ganja. In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look at marijuana culture around the world. You might be surprised to learn how some countries commend this magical plant. Fair warning: you will experience a case of wanderlust by the end of this.

Marijuana Culture

Jump on a Plane to Holland

The Netherlands, informally known as Holland, is a country in Western Europe that borders Germany and Belgium. Based on pop-culture references, it’s one of the top countries American tourists visit when they want to get a little wild. After all, Amsterdam is home to the Red Light District where prostitution is legal. And then there’s the matter of marijuana cafés practically on every corner. Reports calculated 250 of them.

Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not exactly legal in The Netherlands. It has been decriminalized to the point where tourists and locals alike can freely smoke cannabis inside designated cafés. Nowadays, you can find cannabis cafés in the United States, as well, particularly in Los Angeles. According to Dutch mandates, residents can own up to five grams of marijuana and can even grow up to five plants per household.

Take the Train to Spain

Based on the cannabis culture in Holland, you might expect Spain and the rest of western Europe to have a similar take. Spanish lawmakers decriminalized marijuana years ago but it remains illegal to partake in any cannabis use outside your home. As a result, marijuana culture in Spain is wrapped in a veil of secrecy. It’s not something locals broadcast. You have to be “in the know” to smoke cannabis at someone’s private home or inside an exclusive, invite-only marijuana club. Entry into these clubs can be a tricky process.

Marijuana Culture

Marijuana Culture In India

Here, marijuana culture is synonymous with medicine and healing. It’s more common in India to turn to cannabis for medical benefits than recreational use. In fact, Ancient Hindus turned to marijuana for centuries before it became a part of mainstream culture. You’d like that India’s long history with marijuana would make the herb legal…but that’s strangely not the case. Both the sales and production of cannabis are illegal in India.

Still, that won’t stop locals from using it as their medicine. Indians believe marijuana can relieve the symptoms of fever and sunstroke, as well as minimize aches. Some even smoke it to help with their digestion.

Moving Over Into Jamaica

Now, this wouldn’t be a proper marijuana culture article without the mention of Jamaica. This country has one of the most profound marijuana cultures in the world. We hear it in music and see it in movies (even though it’s often an exaggeration of the true story). Since the 19th century, cannabis has been a staple in Jamaican history. It was actually brought over from India.

Born in the 1930s, the Rastafarian movement signified the unity of African American people displaced from their homes by colonization. According to Weed Seed Shop, “Rastafarians believe that weed, or ganja as they also call it, offers a portal to deeper spiritual awareness.” It can help users reach enlightenment and experience visions of their higher selves.

Marijuana Culture

What About the US and Canada?

Surely, it comes as no surprise that “stoner culture” is prominent in the United States and Canada. North America has a relatively friendly and positive outlook on weed, as it’s now recreationally legal in all of Canada. As for the United States, we’re working on legalizing marijuana in all 50 states. Nearly all states have either decriminalized marijuana or legalized it for medical use. However, there are some that haven’t made any progress…

  • Texas
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Nebraska (and more)

Last But Not Least, Iceland

Who’s surprised to see Iceland on this list? We were a bit shocked ourselves to learn that Iceland tops the charts as the country that smokes the most marijuana in the world, according to the Telegraph. Roughly 18% of the population consumes cannabis on a regular basis. Locals even have their own terms for low and high-quality marijuana. Generally speaking, “Marri” is the lowest quality you can buy, “Polli” means average, and “Riger” is the top-notch stuff that’s going to cost you…a lot.

How Do You Celebrate Marijuana Culture?

We find it so incredibly fascinating to learn about marijuana culture in countries from around the world. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s mostly positive! Very few countries portray marijuana as something bad or harmful. Residents in all four corners of the globe turn to marijuana for its medical benefits or for the sheer enjoyment of getting high. What’s something you do to celebrate marijuana culture? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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