Barcelona is giving Amsterdam a run for its money these days when it comes to holding the title as the “cannabis capital of Europe.” Cannabis clubs seem to exist on almost every other corner in Barcelona now, where you can go to enjoy great conversation and chill with a spliff/joint/bong in your hand. The biggest cannabis friendly festival in Europe takes place here as well every year (yes I’m talking about Spannabis and it is just around the corner!). But often the beautiful and informative hemp museum, full of interesting information about cannabis, is sadly overlooked and is a can’t miss for all cannabis fans!
The Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum is based in the most beautiful neighborhood of Barcelona – the Barri Gotic. The walk to find the museum will be like a trip back in time through the labyrinth-like streets of the ancient part of the city, with much to be discovered. The first museum of this kind was opened in 1985 in Amsterdam, which makes it the oldest cannabis museum in the world. The Barcelona location was opened just a few years ago, in 2012. The staff are extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and the tour includes an audio guide, so you leave the museum equipped with everything there is to know about cannabis. The setting inside an old palace is nothing short of amazing, and the perfect place to house a museum. Huge cannabis leaves cover the carpet on the stairs directing you up the grand staircase to begin your educational journey. They also adorn the stained glassed windows, creating a unique finish that you will not find anywhere else!
Firstly, you’ll learn a bit about the building and its history and then dive straight into information about cannabis. You will learn how important hemp was in world history, like for example, the fact that Christopher Columbus would probably not have reached America without hemp. Hemp was an essential resource for everyday life before it was prohibited, especially for ropes used on large ships! There is also a display of historical pipes, bongs and water pipes people in the past used to smoke cannabis or hash. It was funny for us to realize that the same equipment is still used today. Albeit, they were much more elegant and beautiful than what we have nowadays and we found ourselves green with envy. Next, there is a room with a TV playing music videos by well-known singers/rappers and bands that reminded us of just how influential cannabis is to many artists in the creative process and in the final steps of delivering a new musical masterpiece to the world.
Finally, throughout the last few rooms, we learned about the prohibition of cannabis – how and why it started and the wide ranging effects it has had. Since the effects of prohibition are sad and detrimental to business, people and the environment, we hope more people will educate themselves about the benefits of cannabis so it will be legal once again all around the world.
We recommend visiting The Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum when you are in Barcelona or Amsterdam. You will have a lot of fun and learn something new as well!