Why Spanish Potheads Are Called “Kangaroos”

Cannabis lounge

I was in a cannabis club sharing marijuana jokes with a table of friends in Madrid. One girl referred to her boyfriend as a “kangaroo.” I asked why and she told me.

Spaniards call potheads “kangaroos” because when the police come, they stow their joints – not in pockets which can be legally searched – but inside their underpants where the police can’t go without a warrant – hence the nickname “kangaroo.” (In Spain you actually need a warrant to search someone’s underwear.) This quick stash is done so routinely by so many people here that, over time and with evolution, Spaniards may develop a kangaroo-like pouch just below their bellies.

This is Day 43 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I’m reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.