Where is cannabis legal? Let’s take a look at some of the countries in the world that have relaxed laws around cannabis or have specific medical cannabis legislation…
Cannabis Laws in North America
United States: While federally illegal, many states have legalised cannabis for either recreational or medicinal use, with varying regulations.
Canada: As of October 2018, Canada legalised cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use, making it the second country in the world to legalise cannabis nationwide.
Cannabis Laws in Europe
United Kingdom: Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use, but since November 2018, specialist doctors can legally prescribe medicinal cannabis under specific circumstances.
Netherlands: Known for its liberal stance, cannabis is decriminalised for personal use and sold in coffee shops, but large scale production and trafficking are illegal.
Portugal: Decriminalised all drugs, including cannabis, for personal use in 2001, focusing on treatment and harm reduction.
Germany: Medicinal cannabis is legal for certain conditions, while recreational use remains illegal but is decriminalised for small amounts.
Spain: Private consumption and cultivation in private spaces are legal, but public consumption and sale are illegal.
Cannabis Laws in Oceania
Australia: Legal for medicinal use nationwide. Some states have decriminalised or legalised recreational use, but federal law still prohibits it.
New Zealand: Medicinal cannabis is legal. A 2020 referendum for legalising recreational use narrowly failed.
Cannabis Laws in Asia
India: Cannabis (bhang) is legal in some states for traditional use but illegal at the federal level.
Thailand: Legalised medicinal cannabis and recently decriminalised it, but recreational use remains illegal.
South Korea: Medicinal cannabis is legal under stringent conditions, but recreational use is strictly illegal.
Cannabis Laws in Africa
South Africa: Private cultivation and consumption have been decriminalised, but trading and distribution remain illegal.
Morocco: Known for its historic cannabis cultivation, it is illegal but widely tolerated and used in traditional settings.
Cannabis Laws in the Middle East
Israel: A leader in medicinal cannabis research and has legalised it for medicinal use. Recreational use remains illegal but decriminalised.
Lebanon: Legalised cannabis for medicinal use, mainly for economic reasons, but recreational use remains illegal.
Cannabis Laws in South America
Uruguay: The first country to fully legalise cannabis in 2013, for both medicinal and recreational use.
Argentina: Decriminalised for personal use in private spaces and legalised medicinal cannabis.
Shifts in Global Perspective
The legal status of cannabis is continually evolving, influenced by changing societal attitudes, economic considerations, and scientific research. As research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis grows, more countries are re-evaluating their laws. However, international treaties and conservative cultural views still play a significant role in shaping drug policies worldwide.
Note: Always verify the current legal status of cannabis in specific countries or regions, as laws and enforcement can change rapidly.