Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 4.5

Legislation: NORML, the international marijuana advocacy organization, said consequences for possession and purchase busts can vary. “The quantity of drugs involved largely determines the everity of the penalty,” NORML said. “Reports are wthdrawn in cases involving a first-time cannabis offense. Afterwards, penalties are defined according to the quantity involved, and can range anywhere from a fine to six months imprisonment.”

Law Enforcement: Vienna police make no special efforts at arresting Marijuana users.

a local reporter added the following story: “In the late 90s I was busted in Austria for bringing a sack from Amsterdam on my way to Hungary on the train. They woke me up early with a knock on my door. I got up and opened it to see two military style police with submachine guns asking to search my bags. I was drowsy and gave permission. I didn’t think they’d find it, but they were increadibly thorough, searching through the pages of books and squeezing out my toothpaste. The room started reeking of Skunk, so I fessed up. They asked what else I had, so I showed them a huge knife I got in Nepal. That wasn’t a problem, but I got taken to the station and had to sign a confession for the weed. They processed me with photos, prints and the works. Then let me go minus the herb and told me I had pled guilty with a suspended sentence. If I get caught there again it’s straight to prison. The cops were pretty cool, but I’d be careful in Austria. Remember, always keep it on your person, nev er in you bags! That way you always have a chance to ditch it, or at least when they search your bags and find nothing you probably won’t have a body search. Be safe!”

Where to buy marijuana in Vienna: One local smoker suggested a pub called Camera as a good place to score. Another said visitors could ask other shoppers at Bush Planet, a local head shop.

Marijuana Prices in Vienna : 10 euros a gram max

Country: Austria

Time Zone: UTC/GMT +2 hours

Dialing codes: + 43 +1

City tale:

Austria’s leading city, despite an overstated reputation, is not a haven for blue hairs drowsing off to chamber music. Vienna has plenty to offer, including bags of bud and cool places to enjoy the effects. But unlike some other European capitals, like Prague to the north, weed and hash are not widely accepted by the powers that be. Once the seat of the Hapsburgs and their

Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna is now home to about 1.6 million of the country’s 8 million residents. The city, located on the Danube River in northeastern corner of Austria, is an architectural jewel whose famous denizens have included Napoleon, Mozart and Sigmund Freud.

The sexed-up psychoanalyst was reportedly no stranger to drugs, and neither is his hometown. “Marijuana gets all my love,” said a Vienna local named Haze. A gram of pot or hash usually costs between 100 and 130 Austrian schillings ($6 to $8 American). The costs obviously increase with pedigree. An unhappy visitor decreed that “the quality of all drugs is poor,” but another said there is good homegrown from upper Austria available for reasonable prices. “This’ll make your day,” he said of the Vienna weed. One local smoker suggested a pub called Camera as a good place to score. Another said visitors could ask other shoppers at Bush Planet, a local head shop. Vienna is famed for its classic entertainment such as the Vienna Boys’ Choir and lavish New Year’s balls, which shouldn’t be avoided by soft drug tourists. A smoker named Bailey suggested a great time to fire up a joint is “just before the performance in the Vienna Opera House of a great symphony orchestra. Sound plus ambiance.”

But the city offers more modern diversions as well. The blaring hip hop and techno parade of the annual Free Party on Ring Street brings out dancing freaks in silver body paint and purple wigs. Vienna nightlife can stretch early into the morning.

One of the city’ party hubs is the “Bermuda Triangle,” the collection of bars and clubs in the area of Rabensteig, Seitenstettengaße, and Ruprechtplatz streets. Slammer Bar is one of the better choices, located in the heart of the triangle at Seitenstettengaße 5. Volksgarten at Burgring 1 has something for everybody with a bar, beer and wine garden, disco area and live music outdoors.

“The atmosphere here was incredible,” said a visitor named Solbeam, who warned that Volksgarten’s popularity drives up the cost. “Admission was more than my hostel.” Shebeen at Lerchendfelderstraße 4-7 shows episodes of “The Simpsons” every Sunday night, a stoner’s delight. The bar also holds a bladder buster on Tuesdays, offering beers for 15 schillings ($1) until somebody breaks the seal. Tunnel, located at Florianigaße 39, is popular with students and offers live daily music and cheap eats to take care of your munchies. The couches in the laid back Pandora’s Box at Kurzgaße 6 are a good spot for post-smoking relaxation. Other notable names include Centimeter I and II at Lerchendfelderstraße 4-7, Paddy O’Brien’s on Passauer Platz, Blue Box at Richtergaße 8, Nachtasyl at Stumpergasse 53 and P1 at Rotgaße 9. Flex, one of the continent’s hottest dance clubs, is conveniently located in a fairly seedy area well known for street dealers. Take the U2 or U4 Metro to Schottenring and the club is at Donual/Augartenbr along the Danube Canal. But visitors should take caution when searching for party favors.

“It’s all illegal,” said Michael Leidig, a journalist living in Vienna. “You’ll get arrested and locked up if they catch you with anything.” NORML, the international marijuana advocacy organization, said consequences for possession and purchase busts can vary. “The quantity of drugs involved largely determines the everity of the penalty,” NORML said. “Reports are wthdrawn in cases involving a first-time cannabis offense. Afterwards, penalties are defined according to the quantity involved, and can range anywhere from a fine to six months imprisonment.”

Peter Hacker, a United Nations drugs coordinator in Vienna, explained, “If someone only smokes a bit of hash and has no further problems, we don’t take the issue further. There is no one in prison in Vienna for using hash.”

But Leidig added that justice is not color blind, noting that the Vienna police chief has said “he believes [drug use] is endemic in black people.” Therefore, Vienna cops stop and search black people for drugs quite frequently, regardless of whether they are bums or businessmen. “If you come across the border and you’re black there’s a 90 percent chance you’ll get searched for drugs,” Leidig said.

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