Jalsalmer, India

Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 5

Legislation: Marijuana is illegal in India, but through some strange govermental loop you can buy it legally from one specific store in Jaisalmer.

another reporter added:” Weed is barely illegal in India ; Hash is very illegal. This seems odd to westerners but, basically, “bhang” (weed) is used ceremonially by some Hindus. Hash/Charas is not and is considered a drug. Minumum penalty (if you dont bribe your way out of trouble): 10 years in an Indian jail. Dont get caught. ”

Law enforcement: Depends on the current situation with India/Pakistan. Jaisalmer is a military town (air force) and at times of tension, the local police can ge a bit jumpy. Be discreet and stick to smoking in your hotel or out in the desert. As in most places, the cops are mostly interested in turning over users for a bit of cash. Bribe your way out before you get taken to a police station.

Where to buy marijuana: Right next to the entrance to Jailsmar Fort (the massive building taking up the horizion from any other point in the city) is a shop with a huge sign that says “Bhang Shop”. It serves cookies, lassis, candy and apple juice. They don’t sell loose weed, and if they do its under the counter and you get ripped off, ask locals who are at the shop where to get some loose marijuana.

another reporter added: “In addition to the bhang shop, there is hash available here. When I first visited (a long time ago, 1994) there were usually a few dealers who hung out around the Jain temple in the fort, selling hash. Am not sure this was/is exactly the most cultually sensitive approach and there was talk of occasional arrests etc. Jaisalmer has a good selecton of backpacker hotels and hostels: ask around about buying hash. Very likely you’ll find a fellow smoker on the roof of your hotel, enjoying the sunset. The young guys in the hotel we stayed in could sort you out if you asked nicely (and away from the senior members of the family).”

Marijuana prices: Cookies are 60 rupess, and good for a trip.

Lassi’s are 70 or 80 depending on how strong you want it, apple juice is the same.

another reporter added: “$1 a gram for the better hash. You should be able to get the cheaper stuff for less”

Marijuana brands: Jaisalmer used to be a centre for smuggling across the Thar desert. The tribesmen on the India side of the border would send across alcohol ; the tribesmen on th Pakistani side would send back hash and opiates. Jaisalmer didn’t seem to get much India hash as it was easier to get it across the desert from Pakistan. Not sure how things have changed in this respect but, knowing India, am guessing not alot!

Western travellers in Jaisalmer will more likely have Indian hash/charas from Kullu, Parvati or Kashmir. Parvati charas is generally regarded as being the best. The kashmiri hash taste nice but is often old and not very strong.

More information: I recommend eating a cookie (or 2 if your a heavy weight) and walking around the rampart of Jailsmar fort, it will be one of the best experiences of your life.

Go on a 3-5 day camel trek, take some smokes and ask your camel drivers for some opium. One of the best experiences I have ever had, sleeping on the dunes, under the stars, mashed, listening to the camels and the crackle of the campfire.