There was a time when you'd have to seek hotter, more permissive climates - Jamaica or Costa Rica, let's say - in order to enjoy cheap, plentiful marijuana without fear of harassment at the hands of the police, or disapproving looks from the locals. Now, with legalization sweeping Canada and much of the U.S., a cannabis-friendly beach escape could be closer to home than ever before. Here are three world-class beaches in which to soak up the sun - to get baked, one could say - without having to leave North America.
1. Seaside Beach, North Oregon Coast
Marijuana has been legal in Oregon since October 2015 when SB 460 was signed into law by Governor Kate Brown: that means you can hit one of the state's many rec stores before making your way to Seaside Beach, which has a) stunning views and b) pretty much any combination of water and land you're into (crags, sand, marsh, etc). Those who prefer a more active buzz can check out Surfer's Cove to the south - or, conversely, find a spot to chill on the three miles of sandy beach stretching north to The Estuary. If you're looking to take in the sights at a leisurely pace, Seaside is also known for The Prom: a paved, lighted walkway stretching about 1.5 miles from Avenue U on the south, lined with benches on which to chill and take a cleansing breath.
2. Wreck Beach, Vancouver
While recreational cannabis consumption won't actually be legal in British Columbia until sometime next year, the Western Canadian province has long been famed for its superlative bud. Wreck Beach, which wraps around the western tip of the Point Grey headland, has, for this reason, been a popular spot to smoke marijuana since the 1970s. Bonus: this internationally-acclaimed 7.8 km stretch of sandy beach is clothing-optional, making it North America's largest naturist beach, and is Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver and its many "gray market" dispensaries. High adventure awaits.
3. Ruby Beach, Washington
So named for the reddish-tinted, luxurious sands, and well-known for its large deposits of driftwood, Ruby Beach is located in Olympic National Park - just a few hours west of Seattle. The northernmost beach in the Kalaloch area is accessible directly from Highway 101 and about six miles away from super-cool Kalaloch Lodge. While state laws prohibit cannabis consumption in national parks, you can thoroughly explore Washington's excellent legal offerings before you arrive on federal land.