In 11 states around the U.S., you can purchase marijauan products legally from a licensed dispensary if you are over 21 and use them — but where? If you are visiting from another state or if you want a change of scenery during your high, here are the rules regarding where it is okay to partake in the good green herb:
Smoking marijuana in public carries a $100 fine — and smoking within a national park isn’t a good idea considering you will be technically under the purview of the Federal Government, which criminalizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug. However, you can light up in select areas of some dispensaries as well as some weed-friendly hotels and Airbnbs. If you want to experience the Great Outdoors while flying high, you might partake before booking a guided tour — especially a helicopter tour of the Northern Lights.
In California, homeowners and guests are legally allowed to smoke in their private residences, but renters are at the discretion of their landlords. If you don’t have a private residence available during your trip to the Golden State, you should be able to find a legal smoking lounge, usually connected to a California dispensary. Of course, there are more smoking lounges in tourist destinations within the state, like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego; less populous inland counties often prohibit recreational marijuana use altogether.
Again, Colorado does not permit smoking marijuana in public spaces or spaces in view of the public, like rooftops. However, because Colorado has allowed legal adult-use weed for some time, there is a plethora of marijuana-friendly hotels available to weed tourists. For an even more thrilling experience, you might purchase a short-term membership to a cannabis club, where you can experiment with some of the best strains in the state and get to know other marijuana enthusiasts like yourself.
The latest state to gain legal recreational marijuana legislation, Illinois’ cannabis market is still developing. For now, the state only allows you to smoke in a private residence or in specially licensed dispensaries, though it is likely that Illinois will loosen these regulations as the industry ages.
Maine is often unfairly overlooked as a tourist destination, especially during the fall when the foliage is aflame. Unfortunately, Maine is particularly stringent about its marijuana use laws, even prohibiting the use of edibles and other discreet cannabis products in and around public spaces. As a result, your only hope is to book a weed-friendly Airbnb.
As in Maine, Massachusetts also strictly prohibits the use of any form of marijuana in public or in view of public spaces. Though Boston is certainly a prime vacation destination, you might spend a couple days enjoying your weed in the countryside, where 420-friendly bed-and-breakfasts provide for a more tranquil high.
Despite legalizing recreational marijuana way back in 2018 — the same year as California — the state has been slow to roll out dispensary licenses and other regulations for use. Currently, adults over 21 are firmly limited to using marijuana products on private property away from public view. If you don’t have a friend in Michigan to stay with during your trip, you might want to wait until the state loosens these restrictions.
Unfortunately, despite its reputation for containing the ultimate city of debauchery, Nevada doesn’t make it easy to smoke weed. As is true everywhere else, using in public isn’t permitted anywhere in the state, to include the Las Vegas Strip, and because casinos are afraid of federal interference with their business, most gambling dens outlaw not only the use of marijuana products but also their possession on the premises. While there are plans for adults-only cannabis lounges and cafes, currently you can only get lit in a weed-friendly Airbnb or a friend’s house with the shades drawn.
Easily one of the most progressive states in the Union and one of the states with the oldest adult-use laws, Oregon is demonstrably better at catering to its weed tourists than any other state on this list. Unfortunately, even in Oregon, you don’t have terribly many places to legally toke up. Again, public smoking is not permitted, and the smoking lounges and members-only clubs that exist were grandfathered into the weed legislation; no new cafes or salons have emerged in some time. Still, if pot is your passion, you should plan a trip to Portland, Eugene and other progressive towns in the PNW, where marijuana has a comparable reputation to booze.
Despite being among the first two states to pass adult-use legislation, Washington remains a bit behind-the-times when it comes to allowing users leniency in where they can partake. Using weed in public is against the law, and so is using weed where the public can see or smell you. What’s more, there still aren’t any private pot clubs or social lounges where visitors can partake. Your 420-friendly hotel room, Airbnb or friend’s residence are your only options.
Even though our Founding Fathers happily grew hemp on their property, you cannot smoke weed in their honor within view of their monuments. What’s more, you should be careful where you buy weed in this city; although possessing and using small amounts of the drug is legal, sales are strictly prohibited. Most D.C. users grow their own cannabis plants, so here more than any other city, you truly need a friendly connection.
Though nearly a decade has passed since the introduction of adult-use weed laws, it remains difficult for travelers to enjoy a safe, legal marijuana high. By knowing and respecting the rules in each state and city you visit, you can avoid serious fines while seeing a new place with a new perspective.