Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cannabis on the Streets of PragueLukas HurtOctober 31, 2016
Prague: The good and the bad
Cannabis is incredibly popular in Czechia, and in Prague it’s a familiar aroma as you explore the city streets. The upshot? The capital’s busiest intersections and tourist spots are occupied by suspicious-looking dealers. While strolling through Wenceslas Square, the city’s largest and most famous plaza, you hear the question Want some weed or hash? almost constantly.
“When I examined it thoroughly at home, I realized I had bought hash mixed with asphalt.”
Our advice? Never engage in conversation with these people or even think about buying something from them. You’ll likely be disappointed.
According to Lubos Pirkl, who used to study math and physics in Prague, buying cannabis on the street can be a nightmare. “Before moving here, I lived in a village and grew my own cannabis in a greenhouse,” he recalled. “My favorite strain was Durban Poison, an early-flowering sativa that used to be extremely popular with outdoor growers in Czechia before autoflowering strains took over. One night, out of pure curiosity, I decided to try some hashish that an Arab guy offered me in a busy tourist location. It was very expensive, underweight, the taste was awful, and it made me almost sick. When I examined it thoroughly at home, I realized I had bought hash mixed with asphalt.”
Street dealers are the most obvious sign that cannabis sales are still illegal in Czechia. But while selling is frowned upon, possession and consumption are widely tolerated. So while all cannabis sales in the country are technically illegal, some are safer than others. Savvy consumers use a safer—yet still not completely legal—means of obtaining high-quality cannabis for a reasonable price. Dozens, if not hundreds, of clubs and bars in the city sell cannabis under the table for around $10 a gram.
Cannabis laws in the Czech Republic are relatively liberal, yet they may be a bit confusing for foreign visitors. While the consumption of cannabis is legal, possession of less than 10 grams is considered a minor offense and carries a small fine ranging from $10 to $50. Possession of more than 10 grams or any form of distribution is subject to criminal penalties.
There’s no shame in being a cannabis consumer in the Czech Republic, so you don’t have to worry about negative reactions. Most friendly looking Czech people, especially if they’re under 40, are more than happy to point you in the right direction. Young Czechs are the biggest cannabis consumers in Europe per capita and—also important—speak good English.
Sharing is caring
Another viable option is to follow your nose. A group of friends smoking a joint—or rolling one—outside of a pub are usually quick to share, as well as direct you to the nearest source. It’s even possible they’ll provide some of their stash as a present.
As a general rule, don’t insist on paying for cannabis unless you are asked to do so. Czechs are proud growers and members of the cannabis community, and many of them hate to see herb being exchanged for money.
Don’t forget the countryside
If you ever end up outside Prague—and you should, as the Czech countryside is rich with natural and cultural beauty—you’ll notice the indoor-grown plants of the city will eventually be replaced by outdoor grows. Many consumers prefer outdoor-grown cannabis and claim that the Czech climate—long taken advantage of by hemp farmers—combined with top quality genetics create more potent and better-tasting plants compared to cannabis grown under lights. A great example is the South Moravian Region, the sunniest and hottest part of Czechia, where both the country’s best wine and the best outdoor cannabis are grown.