Vientiane, Laos

Smoking tolerance level [1= very illegal 5=virtually legal]: 3

Legislation: Marijuana is illegal in Laos, but is widely sold and used by locals and tourists.

Law enforcement: Few police that I have seen. I was told that the police were more interested in closing/slowing down the opium traffic and smoking. When I went to Vang Vieng in 2003, people were smoking it and having it on the table openly, when I came back last year it was much more discreet. The hotels have signs warning people about getting high, but again, the focus is more on opium instead of marijuana.

Where to buy marijuana: In Vientiane and Laung Prabang, people will approach you. Look to the rickshaw drivers or taxi drivers. In Vang Vieng, the place to go is a pizza place on the north side of the road. Next door is a Xangyou restaurant, with an outside patio and a pool table (the only one in Vang Vieng). That same place also made marijuana shakes, but those are too strong!

I bought some weed off a tuk-tuk driver – many of them will offer you drugs.

Marijuana prices: I paid $5 USD for about 5 grams, and I am sure that I was probably ripped off at that. Didn’t ask about hashish. A recent report stated that: You can get roughly 20 grams for about $10 or 80,000 kip.

You’ll need to negotiate the price.

Paid USD10 for a ‘packet’ (about 10gm). Prices I was offered went as high as USD30 – be prepared to bargain.

Marijuana brands: The ganja is of reasonable quality, grown mostly in the north of Thailand and brought across the border.

More information: Have an icy cold Beer Lao when you are enjoying the beautiful sites. I saw nobody smoking openly, and don’t think it would be a good idea. In Vientiane and Luang Prabang, I found a good place to smoke was to go down by the bank of the river. But be careful.