Vietnam is an extremely beautiful tourist destination. Full of culture, tradition, and incredible food. However, it may not be the ideal destination for cannabis tourists given the laws. Some have stated that though weed is not legal in Vietnam, it is considered a fairly weed-friendly country. Even though weed does seem to be relatively common in Vietnam, the penalties for drug use can be severe. When it comes to weed in Vietnam there are a few mixed messages. Let’s break it all down.
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Weed Laws Of Vietnam
Let’s begin with the actual cannabis laws of the country. It is completely illegal to grow, sell, possess, or transport cannabis within Vietnam. As far as the written law is concerned the punishments can be extremely strict. It is actually quite difficult to find specifics on the Vietnamese cannabis laws but most sources point at a minimum of jail time. Terrifyingly it can range up to the death penalty for possession or trafficking of substances including cannabis, but usually relating to class A’s such as heroin. It doesn’t seem like an area that you want to get tangled up in.
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Many travel blogs claim that the use of cannabis is extremely normal with ex-pats in Vietnam. They also claim that the police will largely ignore cannabis smokers as they are aware that the resulting tourism brings money to the economy. Though the internet is littered with stories of locals and tourists alike smoking cannabis freely, I would strongly recommend not messing around with Vietnamese police. Or any police for that matter. Probably just don’t break the law. It has also been documented that if you are caught with cannabis the police are easily bribed. This may be another reason that practical cannabis laws are fairly lax. Once again this purely means that taking drugs in Vietnam would be significantly more dangerous than in a country where it is legal and safe.
Cannabis Culture In Vietnam
Drugs became a large part of Vietnamese culture during the Vietnam war. According to a report submitted in 1971, over half of American G.I.’s were smoking pot. Around 30% were taking acid and other psychotropics including mescaline and mushrooms. A further 20% had used drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Though the Americans eventually left Vietnam, the drugs didn’t. This was considered to be the birth of hard drugs in Vietnamese society.
Usually, I would look at the potential of a country legalizing marijuana in the near future. This definitely is not one of those cases and it does appear that the laws will remain strict. The illegal use of cannabis and other drugs in Vietnam would not only be extremely stupid, but incredibly dangerous. Sure, there is the risk of the death penalty, but also Vietnamese drugs tend to be far stronger than anything you’d find at home. Basically, weed is not legal in Vietnam, and no matter how tempted you are by the lax social attitude, I wouldn’t recommend risking it.
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