Where marijuana is legal, people will not necessarily consume more of it. In fact, of the top five cities for cannabis consumption, it’s illegal in three. The U.S. was the only country to place two cities on the list (cue “U.S.A.!” chant if that’s your thing).
Seedo, a company that makes a device allowing users to grow cannabis plants at home, recently released a report that shows which cities around the world consume the most weed. They compiled the list through crowdsourcing and cross-referencing it with the World Drug Report 2017.
Important reminder: The cities were ranked by overall consumption, not per capita use.
5. Cairo, Egypt
- Population: 7.8 million
- Area: 117 square miles
- Legal status: Illegal
- Total consumption in metric tons: 32.59
- Consumption per capita in grams: 4.17
- Price per gram: $16.15
Hemp production in Egypt can be traced back as many as 5,000 years, though there exists no concrete proof that it has always been used for psychoactive purposes. But, numerous sources conclude enthusiasts there have been getting high for about 1,000 years.
Alcohol is illegal in the Islamic country. The book “Cannabis: A History,” claims that when Napoleon’s troops invaded in 1798 the troops turned to, and liked, hashish.
Users with weed caught by authorities face very long jail time. Though enforcement is considerably lax and judges have wide sentencing leeway.
Foreigners in the country’s largest and capital city will find purchasing cannabis relatively easy. Sample advice from webehigh.com: Strike up a conversation with a local, but watch out for inflated prices and camel dung.
4. Los Angeles, USA
- Population: 4 million
- Area: 469 square miles
- Legal status: Legal
- Total consumption in metric tons: 36.06
- Consumption per capita in grams: 9.015
- Price per gram: $8.14
Voters made recreational use legal effective the first of this year. Prior to that, California was one of the leaders in legal medical marijuana.
To buy weed in The City of Angels go to a state-licensed shop. You can search for those outlets on the state Web site. There are also many quasi-legal “co-ops” that were established to bend the medical weed rules prior to full legalization that operate around the city.
And, as with alcohol, check your watch and plan ahead for that big night. It is illegal for the shops to sell from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
3. New Delhi, India
- Population: 11.7 million
- Area: 178 square miles
- Legal status: Illegal
- Total consumption in metric tons: 38.26
- Consumption per capita in grams: 3.27
- Price per gram: $4.38
The history of cannabis use in India dates back at least 4,000 years. Common traditional uses include a milkshake-like beverage. Though illegal, the law is rarely and laxly enforced, due in large part to its long history of use in Indian traditions.
According to legend, Shiva, one of the main gods of Hinduism, called cannabis his favorite food. He discovered the plant while seeking rest from an argument with his family (wonder if it was on Thanksgiving).
The very low prices may seem enticing to the tourist, but webehigh.com cautions to watch out for weed that has been cut with shoe polish. The site’s travel guide suggests going to one of the city’s many “hippie” cafes and ask a fellow tourist.
2. Karachi, Pakistan
- Population: 15 million
- Area: 237 square miles
- Legal status: Illegal
- Total consumption in metric tons: 41.95
- Consumption per capita in grams: 2.8
- Price per gram: $5.32
The country’s largest city also ranks as the third-largest in the world by population. Possession or sales can lead to a seven-year sentence. The law is enforced but, as one travel guide says, most police can be bought off for less than $10.
Cannabis is widely available throughout the country from local dealers. That same report said throughout the country 6.4 million people (at the time roughly 6.5 percent of the adult population) used cannabis.
1. New York City, USA
- Population: 8.5 million
- Area: 690 square miles
- Legal status: Partially legal
- Total consumption in metric tons: 77.44
- Consumption per capita in grams: 9.11
- Price per gram: $10.76
The Big Apple has a long history of growing and using weed. In the 80s, the Green Aid movement supplied AIDS patients with cannabis — one of the first organized medical marijuana efforts in the country.
Recreational use in the city has largely been decriminalized and possession of a small amount is now a violation — a ticket with a fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. There are harsher penalties for amounts greater than two ounces. Medical use, from state-licensed outlets, was allowed last year.
Finding marijuana is easy for tourists. Weedmaps.com lists local dispensaries (some deliver and may only require a phone consultation to qualify) and storefronts.