It's common for people to try to sell weed to tourists in big Portuguese cities like Lisbon. The "weed" is, please correct me if I'm wrong, almost always just tea leaves (for €10/€20!).

What's the best way to deal with these peddlers? Once in Lisbon I tried to completely ignore such a guy, but ended up being followed and harassed ("get out of my country!" etc.) instead.

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    Lead the tout to a police post, or expensive hotel. Sep 10, 2021 at 17:04
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    I've been to Lisbon a lot. Whenever someone approaches me to sell drugs, I just smile and say "No, I don't want it" or "I don't use weed/hashish" etc. And they just go away and look for other people. Maybe instead of ignoring them, just tell them you don't want it. It works for me. Sep 29, 2022 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


I can't speak to Portugal in particular, but one strategy I've found is to simply ignore these street vendors if you don't want to buy what they are selling. Just pretend not to hear them. It helps if you are wearing earphones, even if you're not actually listening to music.

The worst thing that can happen is, as you mentioned, they may chase/harass you. Just pretend not to hear that either; just ignore them completely. Eventually they'll conclude that shouting insults at a brick wall is not the most productive use of their time and they'll go away.

This is, of course, assuming you don't actually want to buy weed, if the seller is indeed legit. If you actually do want to buy weed, you have a larger problem: Marijuana remains illegal in most places in the world (unsure about Portugal in particular), and getting caught with it, especially as a foreigner without status, can get you into very big trouble. In North America, marijuana possession is not a big deal (in Canada it's even legal!), but other countries treat drug possession very seriously. Don't put yourself in a position to get thrown in prison in a foreign country for years on end; you can give up drugs for a couple weeks while you're on vacation (and if you can't, don't go on vacation to countries where your drug of choice is not legal).

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    Carrying marijuana is legal in Portugal in small quantities.
    – JonathanReez
    Sep 10, 2021 at 18:59
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    OP already says they "tried to completely ignore such a guy", and the question has nothing to do with possessing weed. Sep 10, 2021 at 20:42
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    @WeatherVane OP didn't ignore the guy hard enough then. My answer is "if you ignore them enough then they will go away". They can't chase you forever, and they're not going to chase you forever. If it gets bad enough to the point of stalking, then eventually go to the police, but it's not going to get that bad; they'll give up long before that. Trying to sell a bag of tea for 10 euros isn't worth a 6-hour adventure, to anyone.
    – Ertai87
    Sep 10, 2021 at 20:46
  • @Ertai87 Exactly. Do not stop to listen to them, do not slow your pace, do not engage, just keep walking. If the guy starts following you, walk towards the nearest shop or restaurant / cafe / hotel. They'll 90% of the cases disengage when you cross the threshold. Or a police station if it is close by. Sep 13, 2021 at 14:48

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