Opinion: Move over Amsterdam, Vancouver is the new pot capital of the world

Jan 6 2017, 6:24 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Yaniv Son, a writer and professional poker player who enjoys the finer things in life; like MarioKart, and kindness. You can connect with Yaniv on Twitter and on Instagram

I may be stereotyping just a little, but if you grew up in Vancouver over the past couple of decades, there’s probably a good chance that the following three things apply to you:

  1. You’ve tried smoking pot, at least once.
  2. You’ve listened to more Bob Marley than you ever thought a single human-being can handle.
  3. You’ve been planning a trip to Amsterdam with your 4/20 crew for as long as you can remember.

And while I can’t do anything about Vancouver’s Bob Marley over-saturation crisis, I do have both good and bad news on the Amsterdam vacation front.

The bad news is that with the Netherlands’ recent push against marijuana, which has unsurprisingly devastated the local economy, our teenage dream of one day kicking back with an artisan latte and a peace pipe in an Amsterdam cafe is fast slipping away.

With that said, however, the good news is that now you no longer need an expensive plane ticket to visit the world’s marijuana capital.

If you don’t believe me, here are five reasons why Vancouver is the new Amsterdam.

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Long live the prince

Cannabis Culture/Shutterstock

With all due respect to the Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander, if we’re going to anoint a new marijuana Mecca for pot enthusiasts from around the world to make pilgrimage to, I’d much prefer it be led by the Prince. Well, the Prince Of Pot that is, one Mr. Marc Emery.

A legendary social activist even before his time on the front lines of the marijuana war, Emery has been fighting for legalization for more than two decades, including opening the legendary New Amsterdam Cafe in downtown Vancouver in 2000. So while we’re grateful and appreciative of all you’ve done for the 4/20 community, Amsterdam, it’s hard to compete with the guy who spent what many believe were an unjust five years in a US prison while thousands of people around the world campaigned on his behalf.

Spring is coming

pot montreal

Cannavis plant/Shutterstock

Just as the words “Winter is coming” send chills down the spines of the inhabitants of Westeros, “Spring 2017 is coming” brings with it waves of joy to the inhabitants of the Lower Mainland, and those living across the vast kingdom of Canada.

Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott recently announced that the Canadian Marijuana Legalization Bill will be introduced this upcoming spring (4/20/17? maybe) and finally usher in the long-overdue era of recreational availability.

So while the legality of Vancouver’s marijuana scene might remain in a grey area for at least a few more months, many dispensaries around the city have already began accepting purchases with nothing more than a flash of age-verifying identification, a significant step in the city’s evolution towards legalization.

Not to mention that with twice the number of citizens and 20 times the size of its Dutch counterpart, Canada and its marijuana capital seem the obvious choice for the international green throne.

Sorry not sorry.

This city is dope

Vancouver waterfront/Shutterstock

Although Vancouver’s 15-year-old male population may disagree, for my money, I’d much prefer taking my post-medication walk here as opposed to in Amsterdam. Not only does Vancouver offer some of the most scenic smoke spots on the planet, but its rich history as a cultural melting-pot means your munchies-hunting options are going to be off the hook, even for the gluten-free vegans!

Vancouver is a 4/20 savage

What started out in 1995 as a small protest by a dedicated group of activists fighting against unjust drug laws has since turned into the world’s largest marijuana appreciation party! With a reported 50,000 participants and dozens of pot-based vendors taking part in the latest celebration at Vancouver’s picturesque beach-side West-End neighbourhood in 2016, our 4/20-day rally has evolved into a movement.

Let’s see you try to compete with that, Amsterdam.

Vancouver & Chill

With all due respect to the once-great Mecca of marijuana, not only is BC Bud universally recognized as being the world’s best chronic (if Snoop says so it must be true!), it’s also the birthplace of Greenpeace, Seth Rogen, and the workout pants you never have to take off. So to our homies in Amsterdam, as much as we appreciate all you’ve done to carry the 4/20 torch these past few decades, the time has now come for you to surrender the crown to its rightful new owners; because nobody knows how to Torch & Chill like the 604.

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