Although cannabis and weed aren’t welcome everywhere, many countries are taking large steps towards legalizing weed. However, there are some countries who are ahead of the game and have already legalized weed.
No matter where it grows or goes there’s always unpleasant politics around weed. Some places have legalized consumption but not possession, or cultivation. The levels of consequence vary for each separate charge, and many people avoid weed because they’re not sure what’s legal and what’s not.
How is something that everyone enjoys such a hot debated issue? Well, at least in these countries the major stigma is gone, and people have started moving on.
Well-known for the city of Amsterdam it plays host to weed cafes. These coffee shops provide a social venue to partake in weed intake. You do have to be over the age of 18 to enter the weed-friendly cares.
Although there is a general age restriction, it’s not uncommon and is similar to the age restrictions placed on alcohol in many countries. Outside of Amsterdam, you’ll find it difficult to locate a weed café. Instead, ask a local if you want to smoke.
There’s no rule against smoking outdoors or in public as long as you’re not a public nuisance or near children. It’s best to avoid areas with children such as playgrounds and schoolyards. Keep in mind that the use of weed in the Netherlands is illegal based on a technicality. Law enforcement doesn’t bother themselves with it. The cafés operate because of a series of permits that make it entirely legal on their premises.
Cannabis laws in Spain are still unclear, but the bottom-line is that it’s legal to consume. Personal consumption is no matter to worry yourself with while in Spain. However, it is not legal to grow, even for personal use.
These confusing laws make it difficult to navigate. But, the authorities in Spain are less concerned with weed use than other pressing drug-related problems. Their relaxed weed laws allow for consumption, but not growth or distribution.
However, there are approximately 800 nightclubs where you can legally partake in weed consumption with your friends. Membership restricts tourists from entering as you must be a local to attend the club. Don’t plan on going to Spain and lighting up, but if you know a local don’t pass on the opportunity to see one of their clubs!
A not so well-known country in Latin America that created their plan to legalize cannabis in 2013. The legality of cannabis only extends to their nationals, so you can’t partake as a tourist or visitor. The set of laws that restrict the use of cannabis from visitors has helped them stay away from having a reputation like Amsterdam.
You can legally cultivate, consumer, and distribute cannabis in Uruguay. The nation also allows for the recreational sale of weed in pharmacies. Uruguay is the first country to allow the sale of cannabis in a drug store. Although there are only 16 pharmacies in the whole country that are properly registered for cannabis retail.
We can expect the number of pharmacies to increase through the years. If you’re a visitor in Uruguay, you will do best to find a generous local.
Similar to Spain, Peru has some murky cannabis laws. The possession, distribution, cultivation and even consumption are technically illegal. So why is it on our list here? Well, there’s a small law that helps out locals and visitors.
Is it legal, in Peru, to possess and consume up to 8 grams of weed. Or, 2 grams of a cannabis derivative such as hash oil. However, this amount is meant for consumption at one time, not to have a stash. The basic rule of thumb in Peru is only to buy what you need for one smoke session. In other words, smoke responsibly.
The United States of America
Yes, there is some controversy because as a whole the United States has not legalized possession, distribution, or cultivation of marijuana. However, the states individually are free to make adjustments as they deem necessary.
The United States has legalized recreation use in The District of Columbia, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts California, and parts of Nevada. Hotbeds of activity such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles have spearheaded the road to legalization for these states.
The states which allow weed to have acknowledged the economic boost that comes with allowing the sale and use of cannabis. This economic boost is anticipated to increase steadily over the next few years. Although these states listed above have legalized recreational use, most states within the USA have legalized medical use.
Keep in mind that unlike other countries weed laws in the USA are likely to change drastically from one presidential administration to the next. Never believe that the weed laws in the USA aren’t subject to drastic and immediate change.
Of all the unlikely places in the world, weed is completely legal in North Korea. Unlike Spain, the Netherlands or even the USA, there aren’t restrictions here. That’s right North Korea is a complete, no strings attached weed-friendly country.
You can sell, distribute, cultivate, and consumer as much cannabis as you want. The North Korean government has left weed so unenforced that it’s practically lost its value. Rumor has it that a kilo can sell in cities for about $6 American.
Associated with the weed culture for decades, would you be shocked to find out that cannabis is only recently legal? Adults can have small amounts of cannabis intended only for personal use. However medical use has been legal for a while now.
The government hasn’t yet cashed in on this recent change the way that other countries have. The upside is that this keeps the price down because there aren’t insanely high taxes on every purchase. You still want to only purchase what you need because of the quantity restriction.
Throughout Jamaica, lawmakers are working diligently to cultivate tourism based on their cannabis culture. Because it’s already a wellness destination, the goal is to create the ultimate haven for those who need to relax, unwind, and collect themselves.
Rastafari is a special matter of concern. Because cannabis is part of the religious practices and rituals, the use of weed during these times avoids the restrictions of the law. Spirituality is a primary concern throughout Jamaica, and the government offers its protection on this matter.
This country is on the frontline of marijuana legalization. They are leading the world into a better view of medicinal marijuana use. In the near future, Argentina will offer free medical cannabis for any medical marijuana patient.
What’s most unexpected is that parents spearheaded this reform. Many parents in Argentina struggle with children who have autism, epilepsy and other medical concerns which marijuana assists.
Since 2001 Canada allows legal marijuana only for medical use. However, the current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is currently on the warpath to legalizing recreational use as well. Their prime minister has no issue with the recreational use of marijuana and sees the economic value it’s bringing to other countries.
As of 2017, Canada became the first country which is fully industrialized to offer nationwide legalization of cannabis. Parliament is currently reviewing this legislation and will offer their insight soon. We can expect the legislation to pass.
This can mean a severe increase in tourist revenue for the country as many Americans are more apt to visit Canada than other states. The country intends to open weed-friendly cafés in industrialized areas as well.
Just as many other countries the Czech Republic has legalized possession of marijuana only for personal use. They set the limit for personal use at 15 grams, so you can buy more than you need for one smoke session, but you still can’t purchase a lot.
Additionally, growing and distributing weed in the Czech Republic is still illegal.
Following their neighbors, Switzerland is decriminalizing the possession of weed. However, cultivating and distribution are still illegal. They’ve adopted laws similar to the Netherlands, Spain, and Peru.
If you’re looking for weed in Switzerland, you’re best only purchasing what you need for the time. Authorities will issue fines and occasionally press charges for holding large amounts of marijuana.
Switzerland has taken a broad sidestep from other countries and designed their own strain of marijuana which contains less than 1% THC. This strain is completely legal, no matter where you are in Switzerland.
Weed is on a long list of legal drugs in Portugal. They are taking an odd approach to the enduring war on drugs. Portugal has thrown in the towel and declared that any personal substance use is non-criminal. There are no offenses placed against a person for using weed.
This country has found a severe drop in overdoses, drug-related deaths, hard drug use, and drug-related violence. Many countries are watching Portugal carefully to see if the positive effects are worth the change.
Although you can only possess 10 grams of weed in Ecuador, the government doesn’t have a whole lot of say in growing. Cannabis received the nickname weed for a reason, and Ecuador’s climate is the best that a weed plant could ask for. Mother nature helps the plants grow wild here, and they bud regularly.
There is a slew of cannabis culture within the cities of Ecuador, and they’re building a reputation very similar to Amsterdam. Ecuador is seeing a reasonable increase in tourist activity.
Many other countries have legalized medicinal marijuana only, or decriminalized small amounts. But the overall worldview of recreational marijuana use is changing. We should all expect significant steps from leading countries that have kept marijuana illegal for far too long.