The Liberal Party of Canada, led by selfie-hoarding Trudeau (not sorry), has an actual section on there called “Marijuana.” The first thing it says is “Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.”
Isn’t that adorable? I feel like I’ve written that very sentence at least a dozen times in various university papers when my fuck deficit was higher than Canada’s. The rest of the page talks about how marijuana criminalization is expensive and how we could profit from legalization and blah blah think of the children.
The plan is to make it completely legal by spring of 2017, just in time for next year’s April 20 celebrations, when hopefully we can move the big party back to Queen’s Park right in front of the Parliament buildings in a big open field with musicians and corn stands instead of crowded in the concrete hell-box that is Yonge and Dundas square. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s probably because these are #TorontoProblems.
Despite the plan’s timeline, many people are jumping the gun and starting their cannabis-related businesses early, putting an uncommon amount of trust in a politician’s promises to have actually done something on time. But Canada has always been pretty lax when it comes to these things, you just had to live here to know it. Now we expand our socialist, smoky hugs to anyone that wants one. Here are the best places for cannabis tourism in Canada.
Marc (“Prince of Pot”) Emery’s hometown is also known as Vansterdam for obvious reasons and has tons of big safe spaces for users of all drugs. The Marijuana Party of Canada is headquartered here, and if the existence of such a political party isn’t enough to get you over here, then I don’t know what is.
The first place tourists should go visit is the New Amsterdam Café. They won’t sell you any of the good stuff, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it anywhere on the streets. Here you can smoke to your hearts content and munch on delicious baked goods or lunch foods. They recently added a vapor bar so you can smoke as cleanly as possible.
Vancouver Pot Block and Pot Tours
The 300-block of West Hastings Street is known as Vancouver’s “Pot Block” and holds the aforementioned café as well as the headquarters of Cannabis Culture magazine and the Marijuana Party of Canada. On the second floor, you’ll find the Herb Museum, and for a small fee, you can smoke your herb using their vaporizers while learning about the history of drugs. Down the street you will find the Vancouver Seed Bank and Tokers Lounge in case you want to try your hand at gardening.
The most ridiculous of all is Vancouver’s Green Tours led by proprietor Kiwi Kush. A few options are available for whatever kind of tour you would like to partake in, but apparently they will take you to a doctor to get your medicinal marijuana card. The Starter Tour is the most popular, where in two hours you will learn everything you need to know about Vancouver’s pot culture.
After Trudeau’s first selfie as Prime Minister, Torontonians wasted no time in opening up dispensaries on basically every corner. Granted, many of them were raided and shut down for selling pot to recreational users in some backwards attempt to warm up to the conservative sentiments still present in the mostly-older generation. However, there are still dozens of little weed clinics with Tibetan singing bowls in the windows and dreadlocked budtenders within every half kilometre of downtown Toronto.
The first place you need to check out is the Hotbox café in Kensington Market. They have a beautiful little patio where you can order coffees and teas and smoke to your heart’s content. They won’t sell you any, but you can use their Volcano vaporizers with a small deposit of $20. The music is usually pretty cool, and the vibe is super chill.
If you get off the subway at Wellesley station and walk towards Toronto Hemp Company (THC) at Yonge and Charles Streets, you will find not only a sharp selection of glass bongs and friendly customer service, but you might stumble across the hidden doorway in the building next door leading upstairs to a room full of leather couches, vaporizers and a stage. If you have trouble finding it, just follow the scent of your favorite flower. They’re open much later than the HotBox—until 1 a.m. every night—and they often host comedy nights, musical acts and Matt Mernagh hosts the Mernahuana Zone with Pot TV every Tuesday evening.
Any day of the summer you can walk through this wonderful park to get as high as the trees. You will find not only an amazing selection of said trees but also a bunch of dogs with their humans in the off-leash dog area, the old beer can collectors making their $200 a day off empties and the smell of ganja in the air. Any one of Toronto’s parks are good for smoking, but this one in particular is the hot spot for locals to hang out at all hours.
I have a friend who lives out in Montreal, and apparently the pot dealers deliver straight to your door with a briefcase full of dabs, brownies, vaporizer pens, pipes, bud, hash, hemp wicks and probably lighters. The only other thing I know about Montreal is that the music scene is badass and basically everyone is super talented, which tends to mix very well with la bonne merde.
Every Sunday at Mount Royal during the summer, a 420-friendly event called The Tam-Tams happens where a giant drum circle appears around the George-Étienne Cartier Monument. Thousands of drum players come out as well as dancers, performance artists and artisan vendors, and there’s even a fantasy medieval RPG arena. This type of event is 420 friendly like any other instance of a giant drum circle in an outdoor park, and apparently your chances of finding good herb here are super high. Also, there’s a sweet observatory which seems like the perfect spot to make even more puns about being high.
This is the street you walk down where several people will ask if you need drugs. Awesome. Locals are often seen toking away despite the fact that it’s a busy downtown street.
Laval and Saint-Eustache are known for having cheaper and better quality weed than in Montreal, and the delivery system here is just as organized. Notre-Dame-de-Grace and Verdun have great quality herb too, and usually sold by friendly young people.
Images courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Bureau.