Legal status of cannabis worldwide

Majority of Governments world over are in agreement that the cultivation, distribution, possession and consumption of cannabis within their borders is illegal. Different governments have different levels of severity in terms of sanctions and this mostly depends on how they view the drug problem in their respective countries. In contrast, other countries, which are in the minority however, are more liberal when it comes to cannabis and they have embraced some of its more positive attributes such as its medicinal properties. As such, below we explore the legal status of cannabis around the world looking at the different approaches among countries.

#These are the countries where weed is legal

Let’s start with North America which includes the United States of America, Canada and Mexico. The governance structure in the USA has made this country a land of contradictions. For instance, different states have different drug laws meaning you may be allowed to smoke a blunt in one state but get arrested for doing this in a neighboring state. Confusing. Right! Just for your information, when in America, it is perfectly legal to use cannabis in the states of California, Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Main, Nevada and The District of Columbia. In the rest, getting caught with weed may earn you some jail time.

In Canada, citizens are only allowed to consume weed for medicinal purposes, however, the country is about to pass legislation that will legalize free use of cannabis across the country. In Mexico, growing and consumption of small quantities of cannabis for personal use is permitted. Trading in drugs however is illegal.

In Europe, countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Switzerland have liberal laws on cannabis use within their borders. The interesting thing is that technically, weed is illegal in these countries but various levels of tolerance are accepted. To make this clearer, it is illegal to sell and distribute the product unless you have a special permit that allows you to do so. However, you are mostly allowed to grow it and consume it for your own private recreational and medicinal purposes.

In Asia, North Korea, Yes! North Korea is the only country to liberalize cannabis consumption. In this country, surprisingly, you are legally permitted to cultivate, smoke and sell as much weed as you are capable of. This is basicallybecause North Korea has no existing laws that banthe consumption and sale of weed, if the law exists, then it remains largely unenforced. To make things more interesting, it is a known ‘secret’ that the North Korean government exports weed as part of its programs to obtain foreign currencies.

In Latin America, in countries like Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador, it is generally legal to cultivate andconsume weed but mostly for recreational and medicinal purposes. Intent to distribute is generally considered to be illegal especially to non-residents of these countries. So if you are a tourist visiting, you may not enjoy the same luxuries as the locals.

Finally, Israel. I wasn’t sure where to place her. Here, it is legal to consume cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes but getting caught smoking weed in public attracts a fine. The government however is not keen on criminal punishment and instead has a program for public education in the event you get caught violating the law against public smoking