By Marisa DeZara
If someone came up to you and asked: where is the best weed in the world, how would you answer?
Presumably, you would respond with one of the classics, a pioneer state with regard to legalization: Colorado or Washington. However, as a US citizen, that answer may be slightly biased. Now, imagine asking that same question of people who live in a different country, would they agree with you?
My recent travels led me abroad to Lisbon, Portugal, and Madrid, Spain, where a consistent answer to this question was found. Overall, Western Europeans believe that the best bud can be found in Amsterdam. The Netherlands has always been viewed as a tolerant nation. From prostitution to drug policy, Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination.
Amsterdam is rich with art and beauty, but let’s be honest, many travelers are looking to participate in activities that remain illegal nearly everywhere else in the world; they want to legally consume marijuana. Like Colorado and Washington, Amsterdam allows recreational users to peruse a menu listing a variety of pot strains. However, Amsterdam’s transactions do not take place in a dispensary-like setting, it offers a more intimate coffee shop environment for users to collectively, and publicly, participate in pot-smoking.
While traveling, a tourist told me of a moment in her vacation that exhibits the laid-back nature of Amsterdam’s marijuana laws, or lack-there-of. With a joint in hand, the woman approached a city police officer and nonchalantly asked for directions to the nearest coffee shop. Without hesitation, the officer responded with accurate directions–imaginably so, an exhilarating feeling of autonomy came over her. If there is anything to be learned from her story, it is that Amsterdam practices a relaxed drug policy, but does it really have the best bud?
According to Elite Daily, Head Cheese was the strongest weed strain of 2013. The strain is cultivated by Blunt Brothers and operated through New Amsterdam Cafe, located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Matt’s OG was the second strongest strain and is cultivated by Kushmart, a dispensary located in Los Angeles, California. Third place went to SFV OG Kush, cultivated by The Cali Connection Seed Co., located in California.
Not one of the top three strains of 2013 is found in Amsterdam. Interesting. This posits the idea that the best weed is found wherever a person stands on the map. In Europe, the best weed is in Amsterdam, because Amsterdam is centrally-located, easy to travel to, maintains the media’s attention and is successfully branded. In America, Colorado, Washington and California are the best cultivators because they also maintain the media’s attention and are successfully branded.
Statistically-speaking, the best weed in the world resides in Canada. However, no matter the facts, until marijuana becomes a source of global interest, people may continue to believe that the best weed is the weed closest to home.