December 15, 2019
Cannabis News

Worldwide Cannabis Laws Updated with Decriminalization

Weed Laws Around the World

country by country marijuana laws

North America has some of the most progressive cannabis laws in the world. In Canada, recreational cannabis use was legalized in 2018. In the United States, currently, 11 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam (a US territory) have fully legalized recreational use. But where else can you light one up with no repercussions? Here’s our definitive list as of November 2019.

Countries that have legalized recreational cannabis use:

Canada

Georgia

South Africa

Uruguay

*11 states and DC in United States

*Australian Capital Territory in Australia beginning January 2020

Countries that have legalized medical cannabis use:

Argentina

Australia

Bermuda

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Croatia

Cyprus

Czechia

Denmark – Legalized as part of a four-year pilot program that began in January 2018

Finland – Legal under license

Georgia – Legal but no system exists for dispensing medical cannabis

Germany

Greece

Ireland – Legalized as part of a five-year pilot program that began in June 2019

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Mexico – Legal for medical use given the THC content is below 1 percent

Netherlands

New Zealand

North Macedonia

Norway

Peru

Poland

Portugal

San Marino

South Africa – Legal but no system for dispensing medical cannabis exists

South Korea – Legal though only Epidiolex, Marinol, and Sativex are permitted; the plant itself is unavailable

Sri Lanka

Switzerland

Thailand

United Kingdom – Legal for special cases such as severe epilepsy, vomiting/nausea caused by chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis

*33 states, 4 territories, and DC in United States

Medical cannabis-derived drugs or use is allowed with special permit:

Austria

Belgium

Brazil – Sativex is available

Estonia – Special permit needed

France

Peru – Special permit needed

Philippines – Special permit

Romania

Slovenia

Spain

Turkey

Decriminalized recreational use:

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Australia – Northern Territory and South Australia

Austria – Possession for personal use decriminalized as of January 2016

Belgium – Up to 3 g or cultivation of one plant

Belize – Up to 10 g

Bermuda – Up to 7 g

Bolivia – Up to 50 g

Chile – For possession and cultivation

Colombia – Up to 22 g or cultivation of 20 plants

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czechia – Up to 10 g or cultivation of 5 plants

Ecuador – Up to 10 g

Estonia

Israel

Italy – For religious usage, legal below 0.6 percent THC

Jamaica – Up to 2 oz or cultivation of 5 plants, legal for Rastafari

Luxembourg

Malta – Up to 3.5 g

Mexico – De facto legal for personal use re possession and cultivation

Moldova

Netherlands – Up to 5 g, cultivation up to 5 plants for non-commercial use

Paraguay – Up to 10 g

Peru

Portugal – Up to 25 g or 5 g of hashish

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Up to 15 g

Slovenia

Spain – Use and possession in private areas allowed, public consumption can result in fine from 601 to 30,000 Euro, cultivation for private use allowed including Cannabis Social Clubs

Switzerland – Legal below 1.0 percent THC

United States – In 15 states and 1 territory

Countries where it’s illegal but often not enforced:

Bangladesh

Cambodia

Egypt

Finland

Germany – Illegal but occasionally tolerated; prosecution for possession of ‘small amounts’ is optional

Iran

Laos

Lesotho

Morocco

Myanmar

Pakistan

Poland – Sometimes not enforced for small amounts and is legal below 0.2 percent THC

Thailand

Countries where it’s wholly illegal, both recreational and medical:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan

Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi

Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba

Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic

East Timor, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia

Fiji

Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana

Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary

Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq

Ivory Coast

Japan, Jordan

Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan

Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lichtenstein

Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique

Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria

Oman

Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea

Qatar

Russia, Rwanda

Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria

Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu

Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan

Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam

Yemen

Zambia

Cannabis laws are changing every year. The fact that the countries that have banned it greatly outweigh those who have pushed for legalization doesn’t necessarily mean that legalization is impossible in those countries. This issue is expected to continue to be an ongoing discussion across the globe in the coming years, especially as reform continues to be seen all over the world.

In Europe and South America, a domino effect is expected to occur as more and more countries in those continents push for legalization. In Asia, even countries known for their strict stance on drugs like Japan, Singapore, and China have been involved in research that look into cannabis’ medical applications. This shows we can expect more progressive reforms involving cannabis in the next 10 years. Until then, make sure you’re up to speed on how cannabis laws differ from country to country.

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