Place: East Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Legality: Cannabis in the United Kingdom, prior to 29th January 2004, was a Class B drug. However, on this date the laws were changed and weed was downgraded to a Class C drug. During this time, there were fewer recorded crimes in relation to its use. On 26th of January 2009, the law was repealed and weed became listed as a Class B drug once again. While many wish for marijuana to revert to being a Class C drug, as it had been for those brief five years, at the moment the law appears to be remaining static. Punishments for the use of weed remain readily enforced and, at times, rather severe: users under the age of eighteen are usually arrested and given a warning, possession can result in five years in prison, and dealing can lead to a maximum of fourteen years.
Attitude: Despite being regarded as an illegal substance, attitudes towards marijuana in the United Kingdom are somewhat relaxed. Cannabis doesn’t tend to be smoked by many above the age of thirty, and for medicinal purposes it is rarely prescribed. Instead, it is largely regarded as an easily accessible drug for teenagers and young adults to smoke. A lot of students freely acknowledge that they smoke weed when questioned and seem prideful about doing so. Many above the age of thirty, when pressed on the subject, will reflect on having smoked it when they were younger. It is regarded by many as a relatively harmless substance, and plenty of individuals smoke pot during their teenage years as a right of passage in schools and colleges.
Great Smoke Spots: There are plenty of places where avid stoners can go to smoke weed in the United Kingdom, as long as measures are taken to avoid arousing suspicion. In London, areas such as Camden Town hold vibrant cultures where weed can be purchased and smoked with ease. At the annual Notting Hill Carnival, it’s relatively easy to meet up with other cannabis smokers and the event is largely ignored by legal authorities. Music festivals such as Glastonbury or the Download Festival in Donington Park are other great places to enjoy smoking that aren’t heavily regulated.
Stoned Activities: Apart from the aforementioned music festivals, there are some great locations to visit while high in the United Kingdom depending on your personal tastes. Fans of heights may find it an interesting experience to ride the London Eye whilst high; the slow movement of the carriages prevents motion sickness, and provides you with a good view of the city. Those more interested in the past may find enjoyment in visiting historical areas such as Stonehenge, Tintagel Castle, or the Jorvik Viking Centre in York; being high whilst walking upon sites that are thousands of years old is an exciting experience. For eating, there’s a bar and lounge in London called Dans Le Noir, which is in complete darkness to simulate what it’s like for a person without sight to eat and with the intention of heightening the other senses in the absence of visual cues. Combining this concept with weed is a fantastic experience. They even offer a surprise menu for those who wish to remain in the dark about what is being ingested.