When looking at the phenomenon of cannabis, the scale and size of it are truly unmatched. Although different continents have various regulations regarding marijuana, you simply won’t find a country without a cannabis community.
As a matter of fact, every state on every continent has a history with the herb. Given this, the presence of cannabis in these communities is nothing new; after all, people have been enjoying marijuana since ancient times.
Being a cannabis user entails doing some mandatory research before packing for a trip to a different country. We have to be aware of different legal restraints on marijuana around the world. Some countries have already legalized both medical and recreational cannabis, while others are just striving to achieve their ultimate goal. There are also countries where you can be sentenced to death for the possession of weed. On top of that, there’s one continent that doesn’t give a damn about cannabis laws whatsoever.
Now, bring a map of the world, grab a highlighter and mark the right places so that you know where to travel in the nearest future.
Source: High Times
North America gave birth to the cannabis prohibition, and that’s where its children will eventually die as the abolition of the ban on marijuana draws near . With so many states legalizing medical marijuana in the US, among which 5 of them legalized the recreational use of cannabis, we may anticipate that other states will soon follow through. Given the growing body of scientific evidence in favor of cannabis, this scenario will be brought to life sooner than we imagine.
In Canada, there’s less freedom in terms of cannabis use so far. The Canadian government allows the possession and use of medical marijuana, but Canada is also on their road to the complete legalization of cannabis. Hopefully, recreational users will have to wait until the spring of 2018. Canada has multiple marijuana-friendly cities like Vancouver or Toronto where cannabis has been decriminalized and we can now observe a beautifully thriving community of marijuana enthusiasts.
As for Mexico, the laws on marijuana have been strict since 1920, when the possession and distribution of weed was claimed illegal by the Mexican government. The winds of change came in 2009; upon this date, the possession of up to 5 grams of weed has been decriminalized. Mexicans have a rather laid-back attitude towards marijuana, so as long as you don’t notoriously blaze in public areas or in places where children are around, you’re going to be all good. In April 2017, the Mexico’s Lower House approved the medical use of marijuana, which resulted in the legalization of “Medical Jane”.
Surprisingly, most countries in South America have decriminalized, or better yet, legalized cannabis. In Peru, for instance, weed is legal for the locals as long as they’re not in possession of other drugs that are considered illegal on the federal level. But if you’re looking for a truly idyllic place for weed lovers, pack your bags and fly to Uruguay.
Is weed legal in Uruguay? Practically, yes. You can have up to 40 grams of cannabis for recreational use; more interestingly, the government has nothing against personal growers who cultivate marijuana for non-commercial purposes. So who’s behind this fantastic solution for his country’s citizens? The whole credit should go to the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica. According to him, the legal system is meant to help humanity, not thwart it. Nevertheless, he underlines that as soon as this experiment goes awry, Uruguay will implement respective changes that will tighten the laws around cannabis.
If you dream of living in Uruguay and growing your own weed in peace, you’ll be delighted to find that there are professional farmers with the license for producing cannabis. Their farms yield up to even 5,000 pounds of marijuana each month, so unless there’s some major crisis in the country, I don’t think they’re going to be short on resources anytime soon. For the sad part, as a foreigner, you’re not allowed to buy weed, but ask a native for some help and you’ll surely receive it.
Another weed-friendly country is Ecuador, where the possession of small amounts of weed has been decriminalized. The former president of the country have already issued may pardons to those who have been sentence for drug-related crimes, which is a good indicator for the future of cannabis in Ecuador.
Source: Deep House Amsterdam
Europe is hands down the most diversified continent in terms of cannabis legal regulations. In Netherlands, you can buy up to 5 grams of weed if you show your ID in one of the authorized coffee shops. It’s no wonder the country allures so many tourists each year. As long as you don’t light up in front of children and places like churches or schools, no one is going to punish you for this.
With many countries admiring the Dutch attitude towards marijuana, Portugal has become the country where the possession of weed is fully decriminalized. The drug policy in this country deserves an award for its effectiveness. The simplest solutions are the best ones, the government of Portugal placed its bet on educating people rather on the sole punishment.
In Czech Republic you can have up to 5 plants growing in your house and you may possess up to 5 grams of weed in public; and while there aren’t any official coffee shops around, you’ll find many underground and ‘mobile’ cannabis clubs that offer marijuana. On top of that tourists report recently that Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, smells with weed.
Unfortunately, not every European country represents the libertarian thinking; for example, In Greece, even the possession of small amounts of weed is illegal. Being caught in Poland, in turn, bears the risk of being sentenced up to 3 years of jail time, although most people successfully avoid the punishment with the proper line of defense.
To wrap it up, the further you move to the west of Europe, the more relaxed legal climate you’ll face in those countries. On the other hand, Eastern Europe is far behind the standards and weed is still being demonized by people who actually are not competent enough to wipe public toilets, let alone establish the law system based on justice and education.
Source: Buzz South Africa
Although Africa is where the first traces of the cannabis plant were found – not to mention that some ancient tribes used marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use – the herb is illegal on this continent. In countries like Egypt, you may face a jail sentence when caught with even smallest amounts of the herb. Hopefully, in South Africa, there is a movement that strives to introduce a marijuana reform similar to the one in Netherlands.
Source: Natural Society
The Australian states are also diversified when it comes to cannabis regulations. In the area of the Australian Capital Territory, weed has been decriminalized, whereas other states still consider the plant entirely illegal, even for medicinal purposes.
If you want to feel more safe with your weed in Australia, head to southern and northern territories, where small amounts of cannabis are ‘tolerable’. Unlike these regions, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, and Australia charge cannabis users with fines and, in some cases, jail time.
Given the size of the continent, it’s no wonder that Asia is the land of contrast in terms of the legal climate for cannabis. India consider the herb a sacred plant and a liberator; therefore, the country has loosened marijuana restrictions for religious practices which derives from India’s history with cannabis. On the other hand, countries like China, Thailand, or Vietnam are very strict about marijuana. Penalties vary between the countries from 3 years in prison, to even 15-years-long sentences.
It’s Antarctica, folks. Being one of the most badass places to blaze, the home to whales and penguins is, luckily, not home to people or any governing body. The darkest and, at the same time, the most absurd scenario is that you accidentally get caught by your country’s police officer who decided to give himself a break and spend some time on the coldest, windiest, and driest continent in the world. If, somehow, this ridiculous situation occurred, you’d be charged under the laws of your country. But then again, there’s very little chance for such an event to take place; unless, of course, some secret penguin intelligence collaborates with your country’s government to take the war on drugs somewhere nobody actually cares.