Laos is a fascinating country for weed smokers. It has breathtaking scenery of land and nature. Every step is full of history and culture. And the people are very warm and welcoming to the tourists. For travelers, this place is a spectacular adventure. For the “occasional” stoner, it’s a great trip. Weed in Laos, although not legal, is widely available and accessible throughout the country. You can even buy some buds from local tuk-tuk drivers and night markets. Exciting, right?
Fun fact about Laos – it is the only landlocked country in South-East Asia.
Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this article at the time of reading. We take no responsibility for any inaccurate information.
Brief History of Drugs in Laos
The Lao culture is very warm and welcoming, with a “live and let live” attitude. Although the use of illegal drugs is frowned upon by conservative locals, most don’t really care. Don’t do stupid things when you’re high, and draw attention to yourself.
This outlook towards narcotic substances was emphasized when, at one point, Laos was one of the largest producers of opium in the world. Laos is one side of the “Golden Triangle” – the producer of over half of the world’s opium supply since the 1990s.
Since northern Laos produces opium, and weed grows abundantly in the southern rivers of Laos, there has been a rift between the two regions. Although illegal drugs, including ganja (cannabis), have also been associated with the northern hill tribes of Laos because of their history of growing and producing large amounts of opium.
Weed Laws in Laos
Weed is very accessible in most parts of Laos, but that doesn’t make it legal. Don’t get too comfortable because you can still get arrested if you’re caught possessing marijuana. You can still face jail time if you get too loud about it. The death penalty is also applicable to serious cases like drug trafficking.
A year would be the minimum time you will serve if you’re caught possessing, smoking, or selling marijuana in Laos. But due to the economic state of most of the families in the country, including the families of policemen, they’d rather accept a bribe than convict you of a crime. This obviously wouldn’t happen 100% of the time, however, so prison for minor cannabis use in Laos is still a very real possibility.
Law enforcement in Laos, specifically in tourist hotspots like Vientiane and Luang Prabang, is pretty lenient regarding arresting tourists. Just remember to be discreet. They can still search your room without a warrant and “arrest” you if you are caught in possession of illegal drugs.
However, like in Thailand, there are instances of snitches among the locals. Some locals are in connection with the police and might turn you in. Although this happens rarely, it’s better to smoke safe than sorry.
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Where to Get Weed in Laos?
If you’re searching for weed, there are a lot of locals that will offer you a bag of weed. A LOT. You’re looking at three places to buy some stash from:
1. Vientiane, Laos
Being the largest city in Laos, you’d expect this city to be a hot pot brimming with different cultures. Luckily, cannabis is part of that culture.
You can easily get weed in Vientiane. It seems like this is a part of their government strategy to attract tourists. Everyone will offer you ganja, from taxi drivers to people on the night market. You can expect a few grams of weed for around $5 USD.
Though some say you can get as much as 20 grams for $10 USD. Don’t expect they’ll give you that price on a silver platter. Of course, you’ll have to bargain and haggle your way to that price. You may even get it for a lower price if you’ve maxed your speech. (Yes, that was a reference).
The quality of the weed is okay. Most of the supply comes from the northern part of Thailand and is exported to the country through the border.
There are also edibles available in the form of pizzas and shakes. You can go to a pizza place and ask if they have a “happy” menu. These delights hit hard so be careful, especially if you’re a beginner to edibles.
2. Vang Vieng, Laos
A small town just north of Vientiane, Vang Vieng is the place to go if you want to party hard in Southeast Asia. The party just doesn’t stop in this place. There are even dedicated party hostels.
In 2011, 27 tourists died due to extreme partying. Vang Vieng earned a bad reputation, but the place didn’t lose its magic. The nightlife in this small town is still on the high, literally.
Mushroom shakes, joints, edibles, and other drugs were sold in bars around town. The catch is you need to consume what you bought right there and then. Once you step outside with drugs bought inside the establishment, there are officers that will blackmail you. You’ll be left with no choice but to pay hundreds of bucks.
Vang Vieng is still a part of Laos, thus, marijuana is still illegal in this town. Add the recent misfortune of the 27 tourists; the local government will probably heighten their law enforcement. In reality, instead of convicting those caught with weed, they’d rather accept bribes.
If you want to get some bud, but not from nightclubs and party hostels, you can get them from taxi drivers and local tuk-tuk drivers, just like in Vientiane.
3. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is by far the most forgiving when it comes to smoking weed in Laos, although still not legal. The Luang Prabang province law enforcers are more tolerant than Vientiane and Vang Vieng. This is because the place is considered a tourist mecca, and the local government wants to keep it that way.
Weed is sold in different kinds of places in Luang Prabang. There are pizza stores that offer edibles in pizzas and shakes. You can also purchase weed from local night markets and drivers around the town.
You can also buy weed from backpacker hotels, but be careful when going for this one. These locals can easily follow you to your hotel and snitch your location to the police.
The weed sold in Luang Prabang is locally grown and has a pretty good quality for a locally-grown weed. If locals give you a bag with many seeds in it, you can ask them for one of better quality. Normally, they charge around $10 / 100,000 Laotian Kip per bag, but you can bargain one for around half the price, depending on your negotiating skills.
Despite all of these avenues, weed isn’t legal anywhere in Laos, and for your own safety, we don’t recommend you take the risk.
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Zak Voss, the founder of The THC Times, brings over 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry, blending his engineering background with extensive legal and technical expertise. Renowned for his consultancy in cannabis legalities and indoor growing environments, Zak is a vital guide for navigating the complex cannabis landscape.