Getting On: AU vs EU

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Canna-Cruise: “Getting on…”

If you’re an Aussie – and you haven’t been living under a rock – you’re probably fairly familiar with this phrase. In case you’re a bit late to the party though, “getting on” in the Australian lexicon is shorthand for “picking up weed”.

However, unless you’re lucky enough to be living out in Nimbin, or some other such rainbow and felt-clad commune, chances are that you’ve had no choice but to embark upon the arduous, mind-numbingly-time-consuming and often soul-crushing quest that is “getting on”.

What makes it so soul crushing? Well, dodgy dealers, for one. Toxic, shitty weed is another. Unreliable public transport that doesn’t run past 11pm is a real inconvenience if you’re without a car. Not to mention, SWAT-team-looking coppers!? Are we picking up a fifty, or starring in an episode of FX’s The Shield?

What’s the deal? Is getting weed in other **parts of the world similarly as difficult as taking The Ring to fucken’ Mordor? Or – is the black market in Australia ACTUALLY just broken?

In this article, we will answer some of these questions (and heavily speculate on others). We’ll talk about some of the myriad shenanigans that have the potential to ensue on a hashpacker’s canna-cruise. We’ll also be mentioning the key differences between scoring dope in Australia and Europe… from firsthand experience, here.

Australia

Bzz.

It’s your phone. A message on wickr.

“Ayy soz for hold up bro. We r just waiting on old mate 2 talk 2 the fella wth wheels. buzz ya in 40 n let ya know if we cn swing by or not.”

This is your dealer – messaging you nearly four hours since you last heard from him.

It’s 03:27 am on a Tuesday morning. You started this pilgrimage at 5pm the day before, and here you are . . . still waiting.

Welcome to the ancient, renowned art of scoring some effing choof . . . in Australia (sigh). Welcome to Brisvegas. Welcome to Hell for dopefiends.

04:12 am rolls around and you finally hear from his patronising ass once more:

“b there in 10 bruz. soz but could only get PGR – its gud shit but…”

Well, fuck me.” you think.

At this point, though, you would smoke a bag of stems in desparation. You wonder if they have to put up with this shit in China. Then you wonder if they have weed in China. Probably. Probably delivered by drones too, or like Gundams or Transformers . . . or something.

Your dealer rocks up – in his compulsively well-vacuumed Toyota SUV. Shitty Aussie trap music spills out of his car, as his tinted windows roll down.

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He lowers his blue-and-orange reflective sunnies (you know the ones, with the flames – or the skulls down the sides . . . those typical speed dealer glasses that scream “I have a problem with meth – and I love taking my lawnmower apart at 3 am, which are two entirely separate matters”).

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He hands you a vacuum sealed baggie, with a single withered nug. It’s the size of a Mintie. He has the audacity to pipe up:

“yeah nah it’s PGR, but it’s like dank as – it’s the shit”.

Well he is right about one thing . . . it is shit.

This is what you deserve. The gods have condemned you to this fate of having no reliable supply. This is what you get for trying to get on in Australia.

Yeah, fuck yeah.

Australia is mostly a wasteland for good grass. There are exceptions. Having travelled (and smoked) in more countries than I care to remember – I can personally say that Australia is home to some of the world’s best organic bush weed. That said, the market for decent, affordable hydroponic and indoor-outdoor strains is . . . well . . . ahh, shit house. Mate.

This whole country is a big fucking Bunnings Warehouse, where $140 Q’s are just the beginning. There’s almost no fixed price on the streets, and zero quality control. Bikies and Vietnamese gangs control the supply to the masses, polluting the market with PGR.

Rebels Bikie gang visits their Sunshine Coast premisis at Kunda Park.
Photo Credit: Chris McCormack / Sunshine Coast Daily.

As consumers, we reluctantly buy it – which only continues the cycle: bad weed, bad prices, bad boycotting = a fucking shit house underground market (particularly in SEQ).

It’s not to say that it can’t be found. There is good shit out there. But if you really want it, you may find yourself traversing more obstacles than in an Indiana Jones flick.

I decided to pack my backpacks and hit the hash track; a journey to find the dankest undergrounds across the globe that would bring me from Berlin to Barcelona.

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Europe

Okay, let’s be fair, comparing the cannabis scene in Europe to the cannabis scene in Australia is just unfair. It would be like comparing 1980’s Arnold Schwarzenegger with, uhhh, today’s Arnold Schwarzenegger today. No contest.

There are a multitude of reasons as to why things in Australia are different to how they are in Europe. However, this article isn’t really about that; no, it’s about “getting on”!

So – “getting on” in Europe, assuming that you’re in a completely foreign landscape, with no contacts – how does that compare?

AMSTERDAM:

Not even worth mentioning. Weed is just – everywhere. Was getting it age 17, without ID. Shit was too easy. If you’re really looking for the authentic experience, check out one of the many cafés.

BERLIN:

Almost as easy as Amsterdam. If you know how to use Google, you can get on here without a hitch. There are many “hot spots” in Berlin; places where you can go to score.

Most infamous is Görlitzer Park, aka “Görli” (pronounced girly). Getting on here comes with its fair share of risks, however! At least you won’t have to try, here. I was often approached within moments of disembarking the Ring Bahn (ring train service). Hordes of African drug dealers will move in on you like buzzards to fresh meat.

Now, whether you get gyped or ripped after your encounter in Görli is really a roll of the dice. I have bought “das gut scheisse” before here, though it was admittedly underweight. Also, most of the time they’ll literally just put the weed in your palm, and with little time to react. No baggies, nor any other kind of modern convention to be found here.

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Really, it’s not worth the risk of being sold toxic grass. If you’re gonna check out Görli, keep an eye out for weird weed! If your stuff crackles, or has blue or green coloured smoke, or feels and tastes like plastic . . . chances are it is noxious poison!

To increase the bulk and weight of their buds, it is common for street dealers to coat their product in substances such as plastic, metal filings and even embalming fluid!

Worse still? 9 out of 10 scientists agree – there’s actual poo found in European hash!

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Thus, it’s safer talking to one of the numerous normal Berliners…

Literally follow your nose, and you’ll be making best buds in no time with the bros who have the buds!

BARCELONA:

Similar to Amsterdam. Except, the cafés are private, and they require you to sign up as a member. This means that tourists aren’t able to overrun the scene, like what happened in Amsterdam.

UK/LONDON:

Gotta be honest, the UK felt like Australia. Maybe it’s just me, but I found it expensive. Not to mention dodgy. Weed was hard to come by. I was once sold bark wrapped in cling wrap that was supposed to be “hash”. The NHS has recently added access for medicinal cannabis, and it’s possible to find good strains in the black market. Still, the scene in Britain doesn’t seem awfully consistent in comparison to its counterparts.

In my humble opinion, the UK is a shit hole; don’t go there.

FRANCE:

This largely depends on the region you’re in, as well as the context of your travel. Hit up the radical environmentalists in the South of France for some nice weed akin to good old Aussie bush.

The Verdict?

Okay, so we may have shit talked AUS a fair bit, here… but Australians can grow some exceptional weed under the right conditions. Sure, there is the thin possibility of stumbling across affordable and potent connections in the cannabis scene (particularly if you’re buds with growers). Still, there’s dealing with dodgy dealers, the gangs, the police, and a f*%*! $#!@ government!

It’s pretty simple. Europe exceeds Australia when it comes to getting on. This is because weed is not just everywhere, immediate and farrrken bomb ass – it’s part of their culture.

In every country I visited – with the exception of England – scoring weed was a breeze. I dealt with nicer criminals, had more immediate access to quality plugs, and I made plenty of friends during my exploits of the weed scene in Europe.

I honestly give it a cool out of yes, and recommend checking the continent out if you have the opportunity. As vastly differing and colourful as each country in Europe is from the next – it seems they have one thing in common: a fantastic canna-culture.

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Written by Wesley Hector Devonson

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