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Cannabis
March 29, 2022

List of Countries Where Weed Is Legal

Cannabis is taking center stage these days because of its benefits for medical use.

Nevertheless, the sale and recreational use of cannabis is not yet legal in most countries. In India, for example, this substance is regulated. The use of cannabis is strictly prohibited. But a small proportion of it is permitted for preparing thandais, lassis and sweets.

But don't worry. However, there may be countries where cannabis is an absolute no-no and can land you in jail. Still, there are many other places where cannabis has been legalized, decriminalized, or has become mainstream enough. Hence, even when you are breaking the law, technically speaking, you are doing it with locals doing the same thing.

There are certain countries where cannabis use is legal. You can light up a joint without any worries.

In Israel, for example, you are good to go. This nation is registered as among the Countries that consume cannabis the most.

So, where is the best place to get weird with cannabis? Of course, not just anywhere. Avoid smoking or even mentioning weed in, say, UAE or Singapore.

Read through the end of this article to know countries that legalized weed, or if not legal, has been decriminalized and mainstream enough to be socially legal.

 

Europe

Cannabis use is at varying stages of legality and decriminalization on the continent. These countries include the following:

  • The Czech Republic
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Croatia
  • Spain
  • Ukraine
  • Switzerland

But for the rest, cannabis remains illegal.

You can prevent the possibility of getting caught in a cannabis search by being discreet. But remember, the smell of cannabis is distinct and noticeable. If you are caught in areas with strict anti-cannabis laws, you could face legal ramifications.

The European treatise on cannabis stops short of Turkey. Although Turkey is easing its cannabis regulations, it is still recommended you don't take this substance with you when you travel to this country.

European authorities may also turn a blind eye to weed if it is in tiny quantities and stated clearly for personal use.

But if you are found carrying cannabis in significant amounts, it gives the impression you are selling it. Such commercial intent must be avoided at all costs. If you purchase weed to share with a group, you must divide it into smaller quantities before a police search.

Russia and Recreational Cannabis

Should you smoke cannabis in Russia? Most likely.

You might have expected that the Russian government is more stringent. But Russia has decriminalized this substance in amounts of up to 6 grams. The country even allowed World Cup fans coming from other countries to bring their medical use marijuana.

 

Ukraine

If you want to smoke cannabis in Ukraine, you may have to think twice.

Weed is not fully legalized in this territory. But decriminalization means you can have cannabis of up to 5 grams or equal to 10 cannabis plants. The former is more relevant for travelers. The Ukrainian government has also stated their interest in legalizing medical cannabis in the future.

 

Spain

In 2017, Spain fully legalized smoking cannabis in clubs in Catalonia. Not only can you smoke cannabis inside the club, but there aren't any penalties or fines for smoking up freely.

 

Croatia

Personal use of cannabis is decriminalized in the country. The substance is also legalized for limited medical use. But specific laws prohibit selling marijuana.

 

Belgium

All signs point to yes to smoking cannabis in Belgium!

If you are 18 or older, you can enjoy cannabis in Belgium, provided the amount does not exceed more than 3 grams. However, you must be discreet and avoid smoking that flower you purchased in Amsterdam publicly.

Italy

Should you light up a smoke in Italy? Never mind.

Selling marijuana and cultivating weed will get you in big trouble in Italy. Carrying small amounts of weed for personal use, including medical use, is considered a misdemeanor. You might be slapped with a fine and have your identification documents suspended.

But you will likely not end up in jail. Historically, Italy has been a rife producer of cannabis. The momentum to legalize this substance in the country is becoming more powerful.

The Netherlands

Should you smoke in coffee shops here? Uhm, not quite.

For decades, weed has been legal to smoke in coffee shops. Although it's been illegal to grow and cultivate flowers here, many of the world's most beloved cultivars originate from this part of the world.

But following the pandemic lockdowns that halted cannabis tourism in Amsterdam coffee shops, city officials are now pushing to give their tourism scene a facelift.

Non-European Union citizens are now banned from consuming in coffee shops. Hence, time could be running out for American college students visiting the country, specifically for the coffee shops.

 

Portugal

This country decriminalized drugs back in 2001. This means all drugs. Yes, every recreational drug there is. Instead of time in prison, you might get slapped with a hefty fine or a substance abuse treatment.

This has worked exceptionally well as a way of tackling addictions to opioids. Hopefully, the rest of the world will follow suit. You are clear to carry up to 25 grams at a time, which should be more than enough.

 

 Switzerland

 Can you smoke cannabis here? Absolutely yes!

Possession of cannabis in small amounts has been decriminalized in this country. In addition, there is a push to establish cannabis clubs. If you are over 18 and caught with up to 10 grams of the substance, you won't be paying more than a $100 fine.

Home growers of hemp are also allowed. Flowers that contain less than 1% THC, nicknamed "cannabis light," are entirely legal.

 

Georgia

Smoking weed has the green light in Georgia.

This tiny country that borders Turkey and Russia is the first country on the continent to legalize cannabis fully. As far back as 2018, possession and consumption are allowed. The court declared that the consumption of marijuana, recreationally or for medical use, is an act protected by the right to free personality.

 

The Czech Republic

Should you smoke weed here? Yes, certainly.

Possession of cannabis, including marijuana plants, is decriminalized for up to 15 grams. Historically, the country has always been progressive in its marijuana policy.

But weed can be expensive because most of what you find here is imported. But mind your cannabis manners and be discreet at all times. In most cases, yes, you are good to go.

 

Estonia

Should you smoke here? There is a good chance you can.

Weed culture in this country runs deep. An Estonian town called "Kanepi" even adopted the marijuana leaf as its official emblem. But the sale and cultivation of this plant is still a no-no. However, personal consumption of cannabis in amounts under 7.5 grams is punishable by a fine. No jail time, however.

 

Malta

Should you smoke here? Absolutely yes!

On the historic day of December 14, 2021, Malta finally legalized the recreational use of cannabis. It was the first country to do so. It is fully legal to carry up to 7 grams of cannabis. But smoking publicly is banned.

It is recommended to operate discreetly if you get your hands on some. Malta even set up a system for cannabis retail stores. Home grows of cannabis are also allowed.

 

Americas and the Caribbean

Cannabis laws in America and Canada remain hazy. Cannabis usage is either legal or a misdemeanor. Like Europe, it is recommended that travelers to these countries remain discreet even in states where it is fully legalized.

Some people in the Americas and the Caribbean may raise objections to the smell of cannabis when smoked or vaped near them despite the substance having a legalized status. 

Be warned when you enter the southern states of the US. The situation is highly complex in these areas. Do be careful.

South American countries are more accepting of marijuana because many nations in this region have decriminalized possession of cannabis despite the sale and cultivation remaining illegal.

Jamaica is the sole country where the use of cannabis is celebrated. Weed is part of their country's culture.

In other countries, cannabis is either legal, semi-legal, or ignored. So long as people are discreet with its use.

Countries in the continent where cannabis has varying legal acceptance are Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Belize, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Make sure you only carry a small quantity of cannabis in these territories. Emphasize the fact that you are bringing it for personal and non-commercial use.

 

Recreational Marijuana in Jamaica

Should you smoke in Jamaica? Without a doubt. All systems go!

Since 2015, weed has been decriminalized in Jamaica. If you belong to the breed of Rastafarians, you can use unlimited quantities with no consequence. Within minutes of hitting the glittering beaches of Jamaica, you can expect numerous friendly strangers offering local greens.

 

Mexico

Should you smoke here? In most cases, yes.

Private and personal consumption of recreational marijuana of up to 5 grams or less has been decriminalized. Meaning you won't suffer jail time. But its cultivation and sale remain illegal.

But of late, there has been renewed momentum toward legalizing the substance. If you find cannabis in the United Mexican States, you will likely not be bothered while enjoying it in less populated areas.

Canada

Should you smoke weed here? Absolutely yes!

Canada fully legalized the recreational use of marijuana on the momentous day of October 17, 2018.

However, the age requirement to buy cannabis or weed from a licensed vendor varies from 18 to 21 years old. It will depend on the specific province. Products such as weed and edibles are packaged in subtle and understated ways.

Although the government is stringent about appearances and cannabis personal use etiquette, it is permitted to buy cannabis online.

 

Medical Marijuana in the United States

Should you smoke here? Stop! Do your research first.

Statutes and federal law surrounding cannabis in the country and state-by-state is a jumble and mismatch.

In some areas, you can smoke cigarettes without fear, whereas in some, you must have a diagnosed ailment and a doctor's note or prescription. Still, in others, carrying an insignificant few clouds of smoke can land you straight in prison. How the law treats personal possession will depend on which state you are standing in.

 

Belize

Should you smoke in Belize? Absolutely yes!

The Belize government back in 2017 has already decriminalized cannabis in amounts of up to 10 grams for personal use. You can smoke in the comfort of your home or someone else's, as long as you obtain explicit permission.

Costa Rica

Should you smoke here? Don't hesitate. You can!

 

Smoking is prevalent here. But similar to many places mentioned on this list, although it is technically illegal to smoke in the country, doing so carries no harsh legal penalties. In most cases, you can be comfortable and won't be bothered smoking on a public beach.

 

Medicinal Cannabis Use in Argentina

Should you smoke here? In most cases, yes.

Cultivating, selling, and transporting vast amounts of cannabis is still illegal. But recreational cannabis use is already normalized, and possession has been decriminalized. Personal use of this substance is considered a constitutional right. In 2020, the country legalized the medical use of cannabis.

 

Colombia

Should you smoke here? All signs point to yes!

Colombia has enjoyed weed decriminalization of amounts up to 20 grams for nearly a decade. But it remains illegal to sell and grow it. The country's tragic history with the drug trade has given it a perspective of just how harmful marijuana is compared to other substances.

 

The Middle East and Asia

When in these regions, the best thing to do is to avoid moving cannabis entirely. Except in South Korea, where cannabis is allowed for medical purposes, cannabis remains prohibited in middle eastern countries and Asia. There is also a persistent rumor that cannabis use is legal in North Korea! But this info has questionable integrity because of the lack of access to information about the country.

Most people consider possession of cannabis a grievous offense in the Middle East and Asia, whereas others ignore it.

Be warned. In the countries of Singapore, Turkey, Korea, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Japan, marijuana remains illegal.

These are the absolute Worst places to consume weed around the world.

Don't even touch it!

In the countries of India, Laos, and Cambodia, it might be safe to use cannabis.

But bear in mind that foreigners should not expect special treatment than what the locals experience. If you travel to these regions, check the country's specific cannabis statutes and abide by their rules. Else, face legal repercussions.

It is best to leave your cannabis stash at home when entering Middle Eastern territories. These regions are strictly against weed, whether for medical or recreational use. Legal repercussions in these regions are pretty draconian.

Cambodia

Should you smoke recreational cannabis here? Absolutely yes!

There are many reasons to visit Cambodia. Among them is that you can dine in a restaurant and know that a dish or menu marked as "happy" means that it is likely infused with mood-boosting cannabis. 

Although weed is still officially illegal, recreational cannabis is accepted by Cambodian culture, widely accepted, ubiquitous and affordable. Yes, you can buy marijuana.

Laos

Should you enjoy recreational marijuana here? All signs point to yes!

Although marijuana is illegal in the country, the policy isn't being enforced. You will likely find happy meals in the same way as in Cambodia. But it is best to be discreet and do your pick-me-up in a hostel rather than on a public street.

 

North Korea

Should you smoke recreational marijuana here? It's complicated.

There are many reports that MJ is fully legalized here. But these rumors stem from a lack of information. If you are lucky and get travel access to the country, it is best not to tempt fate by lighting up.

 

Australia, New Zealand, and Africa

Cannabis is still illegal in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa for recreational use.

However, Australia is at the forefront of medical cannabis reform because it was the first to legalize medical marijuana back in 2016. But the land was decriminalized and accepted the use of cannabis within the culture of the local Australian people.

In Africa, however, the enforcement of marijuana-related laws, including medicinal use, is sketchy. You could face severe consequences in Nigeria and Ethiopia if caught with it. In South Africa, it is safer to use cannabis than in other African nations. However, it is still not recommended. Better stay on the safe side.

In Lesotho and Zimbabwe, cannabis has been green for legal medicinal cannabis cultivation. Other nations consider legalizing the substance, such as Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Malawi, and Kenya. These countries have a better chance of eventually decriminalizing cannabis.

Always be cautious with cannabis possession when traveling to any country. There might be cannabis laws and drugs you are unaware of.

 

South Africa

Can you smoke cannabis in South Africa? Certainly yes!

Although cannabis has been decriminalized for personal use by adults in their private homes, under South African federal law, it is still illegal. If your host offers these herbs, smoking privately indoors isn't going to incite unwanted knocks on the door from authorities.

Takeaway

In contrast to previous times, most regions in the world that were once highly hostile toward cannabis are now beginning to consider the medical value this plant offers.

The younger population is researching and reading about cannabis's many benefits.

Although these territories remain conservative for now, experts are in unison that the future of the cannabis industry is bright.

An excellent example is the North American territories, where the use of cannabis or weed may still be illegal at the federal level but has legal status within states.

Gradually, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of cannabis, paving the way for countries and regions to accept and legalize its use.

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