It seems that every day there is a new state or country that is making headlines for legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana. With laws changing all the time it is hard to stay up to date on where cannabis is legal and where it is not. Let’s take a trip around the world and review the laws surrounding marijuana in countries around the globe at this time.
Countries with Full Legalization
Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize the consumption, possession, and cultivation of cannabis for personal use in 2013. A regulated market for distribution is expected to eventually be implemented. Uruguay is the only country at this time will full legalization that we are aware of it. States in the U.S. including Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and the nation’s capital Washington D.C. have also legalized cannabis for recreational and medical use under certain stipulations.
Where Cannabis is Decriminalized
There are 15 states in the United States that have decriminalized the possession of cannabis for personal consumption, not counting those where minimal cities or counties have adopted decriminalization measures. The amount of cannabis that is decriminalized in each state varies. The possession of 28 grams (1 Ounce) is decriminalized for personal use in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Vermont and Nevada. Please see below for restrictions in other states.
- Connecticut– 1/2 Ounce – 14 Grams
- Maine – 2.5 Ounces- 70 Grams
- Maryland– 10 Grams
- Minnesota– 42.5 Grams
- Mississippi– 30 Grams
- North Carolina– 1/2 Ounce- 14 Grams
- New York– 25 Grams
- Ohio– 100 Grams
The following countries have decriminalized the possession of cannabis for personal use as well. You can find the legally allotted amount allowed in each country listed below.
- Austria – 5 Grams
- Belgium– 3 Grams
- Columbia– 22 Grams
- Czech Republic– 15 Grams
- Ecuador– 10 Grams
- Greece– 1/2 Gram or 2 Joints
- Netherlands– 6 Grams for Consumption in a Coffee Shop
- Peru– 8 Grams
- Russia– 6 Grams
- Ukraine– 5 Grams
- Virgin Islands– 28 Grams / 1 Ounce
Decriminalized Countries- Undefined
- Costa Rica
Countries Where Cannabis is Only Legal or Decriminalized for Medical Purposes
Puerto Rico, Israel, Serbia, Macedonia, Italy, Columbia, Australia and 25 states in the United States have legalized or decriminalized cannabis for medical purposes only. In these countries/states, you must often qualify for medical marijuana patient status based upon a severe or terminal illness that has shown to be untreatable by pharmaceuticals and traditional treatment options.
Countries Where Cannabis is Highly Illegal Still
Unfortunately, there are many places around the world that still have draconian laws in place when it comes to marijuana for personal or medical consumption including states in the United States. Getting caught with cannabis in any of those states or the following countries can still land you in jail or possibly even prison.
Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bosnia, Bulgaria, People’s Republic of China, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fairland, France, Greenland, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
As you can see the cannabis laws in countries around the world are as diverse as the strains of cannabis available today. We can’t wait for day to report that prohibition has come to an end worldwide!