Does Canadian Legalization Open The Door To Smoking Marijuana In Scotland's Edinburgh Castle?

When marijuana becomes legal in Canada, will it also become legal in a small part of Edinburgh, Scotland?

Believe it or not, there's a tiny patch of Canada - Nova Scotia, to be more precise - in Scotland's Edinburgh Castle. Back in the 1620s, James Stuart - king of England and Scotland - was eager to settle his new territory between New England and Newfoundland. To raise money for the colony, the crown sold baronetcies (titles that came with land claims in the new territory) to nobles.

The only hitch was that the new baronets didn't want to cross the Atlantic just to claim a plot of land that they never intended to see again, let alone live on. These aristocrats were more interested in buying prestige than becoming pioneers. To spare them from the long voyage, the crown designated part of the Edinburgh Castle esplanade as "Nova Scotia" so that baronets could stand on that plot and take their oaths.

The castle even has a plaque offering details on the story.

So does that mean tourists can stand on that same plot and puff a joint when cannabis becomes legal on Canadian soil? To find out, we contacted Grant Thomson, Communications Officer for Historic Scotland. "I can confirm that this would not be the case," he told Civilized. "Edinburgh Castle and the Esplanade is entirely in the ownership of Scottish Ministers."

So if you want to get high in the highlands, you'll have to wait until the region legalizes marijuana, which could happen in the near future. Scotland has already unofficially decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis. And some politicians are calling on the British government in Westminster to give the Scottish Parliament the power to officially decriminalize or even legalize marijuana and other banned substances.

So Nessie OG might be on the horizon.

banner image: Flickr / Maxi Walton


2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker (D-NJ) has announced a plan to grant clemency to thousands of people serving time for federal drug convictions. Last Thursday, Booker released his 'Restoring Justice' plan, which would offer clemency to more than 17,000 individuals who are currently doing time for nonviolent drug convictions. Booker pledged to implement the plan immediately upon taking office via an executive order as a means to address the huge disparities in drug policing.

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