The Best Places to Smoke a Joint in Every Legal State

Ed. Note: OK, we need places to unwind after a hard day of whatever it is we do. If cannabis is legal where you are or live, here’s some good places to chill with your favorite bud.

Washington DC

Okay, Washington, DC is technically not a state. And this option is not really available to the vast majority of people. But did you know that Willie Nelson once smoked a joint of the roof of the White House?

Go ahead, try to top that. No wait, don’t, because pulling a stunt like blazing up at the Lincoln Memorial can land you in federal hot water. So instead, let’s head to one of the capital’s lesser known attractions, one with plenty of room to have a sneaky smoke.

Nestled into the west bank of the Anacostia River in Southeast DC and recognized by the National Registry of Historical Places, Congressional Cemetery originally opened for business as the Washington Parish Burial Ground in 1807, and currently houses the earthly remains of 55,000 former human beings, including many of the prominent citizens who helped transform this one-time two-bit backwater town from a fetid, mosquito-infested swampland into a world-class cesspool of corruption.

Sometime between then and now the place fell into disfavor and disrepair, but once you get past the barbed wire, turns out it’s a real neat place to take in some sightseeing that’s most definitely off the beaten track. Creepy mausoleums, a chapel on a hill with stained glass windows, massive oak trees, a 9/11 commemorative totem pole, a veteran from every American war, a former US Attorney General who ran for president against Andrew Jackson on an anti-Mason platform and had his skull mysteriously stolen from his grave in 2003 (later mysteriously returned)—the Congressional Cemetery has got it all, including more than a few out-of-the-way smoke spots!

Some dispensaries you’ll find along the way:

Maine

In 2016, of the five states that voted on adult-use cannabis legalization, only Arizona failed to pass its measure. Which means the Grand Canyon remains fully contained within a prohibition state, leaving a huge marketing opportunity for Gulf Hagas, a massive (and truly gorgeous) gorge cut into the mountains of central Maine that’s often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East.

Formed by the west branch of the Pleasant River, the gorge exposes up to 130 feet of slate as it cuts through the landscape in a rush of whitewater broken up by a series of stunning waterfalls. So get up early and indulge in a hearty breakfast followed by a serious wake-and-bake if you want to hike the entire Rim Trail, as it’s eight miles long and will take about eight hours to complete. Get the timing right for autumnal leaf-peeping season, and the surrounding foliage will take your breath away.

Massachusetts

(smartboy10/iStock)

And now for something totally trippy, namely Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea (population 5,136), a gracefully curving three quarters mile stretch of classic New England coastline where shuffling your feet as you move across the sand produces a strange, squeaky “singing” sound that to this day is still not fully understood.

According to the brainiacs at Atlas Obscura:

“This phenomena is not able to be fully scientifically explained, but some believe that the sound is produced by shear, in which the surface of one sand grain rubs against the layer beneath it. The process is very delicate, as even the smallest amounts of pollution, dust, or organic matter on the sand can reduce friction enough to quell the sound. The best part of the beach for hearing singing sand is on the dry side above normal high tide lines.”

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The sand also takes on an iridescent color at sunset, so time your joint smoking accordingly. Also, lower your expectations of what “singing” really means. Because, as Henry David Thoreau—famed naturalist, OG transcendentalist, and the author of Civil Disobedience once noted:

“The sound (of the sand) was not at all musical nor was it loud…I thought it as much like the sound of waxing a table as anything.”

But hey Thoreau, have you ever tried walking across Singing Beach—on weed?

Some dispensaries you’ll find along the way:

Nevada

Okay, I’ll be honest, Las Vegas is not really my idea of a good time. Yes, I do love the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but I also tend to agree with Hunter Thompson’s central metaphor that “Lost Wages” isn’t so much a great vacation spot as the clearest vision possible of the death of the American dream.

That said, not everybody wants to smoke a joint on a glacier or hike the rim of a gorge, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with preferring glitzy architecture and the never-ending clanging of slot machines. But where in that city built on vice can a humble cannabis smoker go to get high? I mean, Leafly published an entire article on this very cannabis conundrum.

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I know what you’re thinking—what’s more Las Vegas than renting a party bus that will let you spark up in the back? Several such enterprises used to exist, but then “the man” scared them out of business. So I dunno, maybe just eat a bunch of edibles, wander The Strip tripping off all those neon lights, and then gorge yourself at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace.

Some dispensaries you’ll find along the way:

California

(smartboy10/iStock)

With all due respect to Southern California, which boasts plenty of amazing places to smoke a jay, the Golden State’s cannabis culture has always been rooted up north.

To get truly as high as possible (in attitude, not altitude) in California, you’ve got to drive north through wine country, all the way up to Weed Country, better known as the Emerald Triangle (Mendocino, Trinity, and Humboldt Counties), the state’s longtime remote and ruggedly beautiful haven for cannabis growers. Humboldt County in particular has made a global name for itself based on the quantity and quality of cannabis produced by its local farmers, and it’s also an incredible place to visit, as evidenced by Leafly’s official cannabis visitors guide.

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To pick just one location in Humboldt is difficult, but let’s go with the picturesque coastal town of Trinidad, where you can park by the old lighthouse (since 1871) and walk down a path behind it to a secluded beach. Be sure to keep an eye out for migrating whales as you puff some of the local greenery and take in the beauty of this remote seascape.

Some dispensaries you’ll find along the way:

Vermont

(smartboy10/iStock)

Located at the crossroads of scenic Route 100 and Interstate 89, Waterbury, Vermont is like the Platonic ideal of a quintessentially quaint little New England town. Plus, within fifteen miles you can mountain bike on the breathtaking Stowe recreation path, explore a real life ghost town in Little River State Park, fish for trout, perch, bass and salmon in the Winooski River, go swimming in the local reservoir, or trek out to Vermont’s highest peak at Stowe Mountain Resort.

But more, much more than this, Waterbury is where you can visit the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. Time your visit for a Saturday, and in addition to the regular 30-minute tour of the facility, you can sign up for the Flavor Fanatic Experience, which promises dedicated cream heads the opportunity to “assist in whipping up a batch of ice cream, before retiring to the Scoop Shop for a scoop of one of your tried-and-true favorite flavors.”

Don’t forget to pay your respects at the Flavor Graveyard, where dearly departed fan favorites like Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, Brownie Batter and Sweet Cream Cinnamon are fondly remembered by those with a sweet tooth and red eyes.

Some dispensaries you’ll find along the way:

Header & flood image: (smartboy10/iStock)

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