There are few worldwide phenomena that match the scale and size of cannabis. Although the laws regarding marijuana differ depending on a continent, you’ll hardly find a country without a cannabis community.
In fact, every country on every continent on this planet has a history with the cannabis plant. It’s no wonder that marijuana is present in those communities; after all, the cannabis plant has been known to the world since the ancient times of humanity.
If you’re packing for a trip to a different country, as a cannabis user, you should be aware of different regulations towards marijuana around the world. Some countries are on their way to legalizing marijuana, while for others, outright prohibition is the norm. More interestingly, there’s one continent with no legal regulations on cannabis whatsoever.
Here’s a quick guide on cannabis laws around the globe. Read and make some useful notes so that you won’t find yourself in, least to say, an uncomfortable situation.
Source: The Junky G
North America is where the cannabis prohibition has started and where it will eventually end. If you’re looking for the cannabis continent of the world, North America will be in the spotlight. Although not all states and provinces have loosened their laws regarding weed, the ones that do are going all-in.
For example, Colorado, to which North America is home, has fully legalized cannabis for people 21 and over, being the home and setting the framework for the already booming industry. Other states in the U.S. that are following the green revolution are: Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California. With the increasing research and unsurprisingly positive results about the health benefits of using cannabis, it’s estimated that the rest of the U.S. is soon going to relax their laws on marijuana, too. All in all, when you’re travelling to North America with the intention of indulging in the quality weed, West Coast will be your destination.
In Canada, marijuana is legal for medical purposes. Recreational users will have to wait until, hopefully, the spring of 2018 until cannabis is legalized for regular use. Fortunately, Canada has multiple weed-friendly cities like Toronto and Vancouver who have decriminalized cannabis and developed a marijuana-friendly community.
When traveling to Mexico, you should be aware that the plant is illegal since 1920, but personal possession of up to 5 grams has been decriminalized since 2009. In practice, the use of marijuana is tolerated as long as you don’t light up notoriously in public places where children are nearby. In April 2017, medical marijuana was accepted by Mexico’s lower house, which led to the legalization of “Medical Jane”.
Most countries in South America have decriminalized or legalized marijuana. Peru considers weed legal among the local people, provided that they don’t possess other drugs that are claimed illegal by the government. If you’re looking for a weed paradise, I’d suggest you stick to Uruguay, where marijuana is fully legalized.
In Uruguay, you may possess up to 40 grams for recreational use, and the government allows the cultivation of the plant for non-commercial uses. There are professional farmers who have been granted the license for producing marijuana. Their farms are estimated to yield up to 5,000 pounds each month. A person responsible for such legislation is the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica. He said that the laws are meant to be a contribution to humanity, but as soon as the experiment goes awry, Uruguay will backtrack. The sad news is that smoking clubs are not allowed to sell marijuana to foreigners, but what’s the problem in asking a native for a green favor?
Another country that allows for small amounts of weed possession is Equador. The government of Equador is on a good way to legalizing marijuana, given that the president have already issued plenty of pardons to former drug offenders – in other words, for people who were caught with weed when the law was harder on cannabis users.
Source: This Girl Abroad
Europe is one of the most diversified continents in terms of regulations towards cannabis. For instance, in Netherlands, you are allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed provided that you’re 18 or over and you show your ID in one of the authorized coffee shops. Besides, with so many tourists visiting the city of Amsterdam, nobody will punish you for lighting up in public as long as you don’t do it in front of children or near places like schools or churches.
Although many countries in Europe experiment on loosening the laws on cannabis, Portugal is the one that has fully decriminalized the possession of marijuana. They have a very smart drug policy, which is aimed at educating people rather than putting them in jail.
In Czech Republic, cannabis users are allowed to cultivate up to 5 plants and the possession of 5 grams of weed is decriminalized. Although you won’t find an official coffee shop in Czech Republic, there are many ‘underground’ and ‘mobile’ smoking clubs that sell marijuana. Moreover, the capital of Czech Republic, Prague, is believed to smell with weed.
Sadly, not every European country is so laid back in terms of cannabis. Greece, for instance, is very harsh on cannabis users and the possession of even small amounts of weed is illegal. When caught with marijuana in Poland, you may anticipate up to 3 years of jail time – despite the fact that most people are able to avoid the sentence with the proper line of defense during a trial, it’s still not safe to smoke there.
The general rule says: the more you move to the west of Europe, the lower the chance for facing legal consequences. For example, countries like Austria, Germany, and Belgium allow the medical use of marijuana, which means they are walking towards the full legalization.
Source: 420 Intel
Considering the size of this continent, the diversified laws around Asia are not surprising. In China, there are very strict regulations towards marijuana. The use and possession of cannabis is illegal and you may face a penalty up to 3 years in prison. On the other hand, India has loosened marijuana laws for religious purposes, which is caused by the country’s history with the plant. Cannabis is considered a sacred plant and a liberator there.
Source: Medical Cannabis Dispensary
Africa has a long tradition of using marijuana. Many ancient tribes used the cannabis plant for both recreational and medicinal purposes. As for now, cannabis is illegal in Africa, and in countries like Egypt, there is a jail sentence for weed users who have been caught with the plant. In the area of South Africa, there is a movement that aims at providing a cannabis reform similar to those regulations acquired by the countries of western Europe.
Laws regarding marijuana differ across the Australian States. In some areas, such as the Australian Capital Territory, marijuana is decriminalized, while in other states, the plant remains entirely illegal. South Australia and Northern territories have also loosened their regulations regarding weed. However, these laws only apply to small amounts of cannabis. On the other hand, in areas like New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania, you may face a punishment for possessing the herb, namely fines and jail time.
Is There a Place With No Cannabis Laws Whatsoever?
Yes, there is. It’s Antarctica: home to whales and penguins. This coldest, windiest, and driest continent is not home to people or any governing body, being the most badass place to ever light up. Although you might be charged under the laws of your country when caught up with cannabis in Antarctica, chances that any authority will be close to you on your journey are close to zero – unless there’s penguin police operating out there.