Where it is illegal but tolerated


Koror (Pacific Note)— “It’s relaxing,” Jack (not his real name) says, puffing weed in his porch. The odor of marijuana smoke wafts in the neighborhood, but no one frowns. The neighbors seem used to it.

“No, it’s not addictive. I can go on for days, even months, without smoking and I don’t get any withdrawal symptoms,” Jack says.

A longtime pot smoker, Jack says this recreation doesn’t exactly hurt his pocket. “You can a stick of for $5.”

Anyone who smokes pot in Palau knows where to go to get high. Marijuana remains illegal in Palau, but it does not exactly take a detective to find its distinct odor around Koror.

“There are probably more crimes related to alcohol consumption than marijuana smoking,” Jack says.

Under Palau law, marijuana is classified as Substance I drug. Trafficking of this substance is punishable by maximum of eight years in prison, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both (unless it less than an ounce and if the substance is just given away, then it is punished like possession. Any person found in possession of 2oz is fined $500 for first offenses, and $1,000 for second offense.</