All Of The Places In The World Where Pot Is Legal
A list of where weed is legal for medical purposes in some places; recreational use in others.
No matter where you are in the world, cannabis is highly politicized. And consuming, possessing, cultivating, and distributing the drug can have varying levels of consequence, depending on one's location. Nonetheless, weed is a universal unifier; something enjoyed by all walks of life. As such, here is a list of all the places around the world in which marijuana is legal for medicinal, or recreational purposes.
The United States of America
In the U.S., recreational consumption is allowed in Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and The District of Columbia.
You can even grab your weed on the go if you happen to be in Parachute, Colorado, now that the state has opened the country’s first drive-through marijuana dispensary, Tumbleweed Express.
The city of Amsterdam is well known for its numerous weed-friendly cafés, more than 250 according to The Telegraph. Known as coffee shops, these social-use-enabling establishments allow patrons over the age of 18 to sip coffee, while also indulging in some recreational weed intake. The best part is, that tourists don’t need to prove Dutch residency to partake in the green goodness while in Amsterdam. As for the rest of the Netherlands, you might have to ask a local to get stoned while visiting. You can even smoke outdoors in Amsterdam, as long as you’re not creating an obvious nuisance to others or doing it while, say, swinging on the swings of a playground, or near a school yard.
Technically weed is illegal in the Netherlands, but the drug is so common that authorities largely tolerate it. The coffee shops, puzzlingly, are legal, and hold permits which that make it possible for them to continue their operations.
Spain is another country where the cannabis laws are rather complex; a little fuzzy, but currently it’s legal to consume the drug privately, and growing marijuana plants for personal consumption is excluded from criminal prosecution. While most of Spain sees relaxed marijuana laws, one thing the Spaniards see as being utterly no-chill, is cannabis distribution a/k/a slanging weed.
Marijuana lawyer and blogger Nadja Vietz, based in Catalonia, Spain, claims that Catalonia is the country’s new hot spot for weed, and smelling that sweet, piney scent in cities such as Barcelona, which traditionally draw youthful travelers, is not uncommon. According to Vietz, Spanish police generally overlook public cannabis consumption, as it’s considered a low enforcement policy.
Thanks to the “private consumption” loophole in the law, Spain is also home to more than 800 private cannabis clubs, where membership usually requires a bit of paperwork, and for members to hold local domicile.
Yes, you read that right; the same country that previously banned sarcasm, says it’s perfectly legal to smoke, sell and cultivate as much marijuana as one might so desire, and is reasonably capable of. Think about it: You can grow as much weed as you want. Still, in North Korea, your livelihood remains at the mercy of a tyrant with an abominable haircut. North Korea, though, has no law banning the consumption and sale of marijuana, or any such law is largely unenforced.
The North Korean government has even moved the chronic abroad in efforts to obtain foreign currencies. Weed is so easily found in North Korea that, according to High Times, in the area of Rason, North Korea’s economic zone, a kilo of herb can be purchased for around $6. Chinese tourists, when in the DPRK, have been buying bud in bulk to take back home, where the drug is highly illegal.
Writer Darmon Richter documented his experience purchasing and smoking cannabis while visiting North Korea, and out of every country on this list, Richter’s detail of events paint the country as providing the most ideal foreign weed experience. The writer was able to purchase grocery-sized bags of marijuana, cheaply; out of which he then rolled a “comically oversized” joint, and lit up right there in a busy grocery store. Richter blazed down in public, at national monuments, in parks, at various restaurants, and even inside of bars, with no problems. The presumably stoned AF Richter even shared joints with his regime-appointed guide. Sounds tight as hell.
So leave your jeans, piercings, and other Western influences at home, but by all means, when in North Korea, smoke as much weed as you want.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Uruguay was one of the first Latin American countries to create a plan to legalize marijuana, which was then approved in 2013. The drug is legal to cultivate, distribute, and consume, so long as one is a registered Uruguay resident.
Recently, the Latin American nation also legalized the sale of recreational pot in pharmacies, making it the first country ever to move cannabis via drug store retail. In the time since legalization, sixteen pharmacies have registered with the government of Uruguay, though that number is expected to increase over time.
Erstwhile, tourists will still have to settle for making friends with generous locals, who might possibly share their smoke.
While weed technically is not legal here, according to Tripsavvy.com, there is a loophole in the form of Article 299 of the Peruvian Penal Code that makes it so the act of possession, with no intent to distribute, is not punishable, as long as one is holding weed for personal and immediate consumption. In Peru, one can possess up to eight grams of marijuana, at one time, or two grams of cannabis derivatives.
The laws surrounding dope are somewhat relaxed, but if you’re caught possessing any other drug the local police won’t go easy on you. (Think Brokedown Palace.)
So yes, go ahead and climb the trails of Machu Picchu after a few tokes, just do so responsibly.
Even though Jamaica has been associated with weed for years, the drug was only just recently decriminalized in the country. Adults may possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and medicinal use of the plant is also legal now.
According to The New York Times, the Jamaican government is currently looking into ways of cashing in on the wave of legalization that’s grown over the last couple of years. Lawmakers hope to cultivate a “wellness tourism” scene, in the coming years.
Rastafari––a religious group that incorporates cannabis into its rituals and practice, however, are mostly protected, due to the religious nature of their consumption.
Medical use of marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. When not busy melting the hearts of women everywhere, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working to legalize cannabis across all of Canada. According to Rolling Stone, in April of this year Trudeau, who’s admitted to smoking while being a member of Parliament, released legislation that, if passed, would make Canada the first entire industrialized nation to legalize cannabis. It’s expected that parliament will pass the legislation.
That means Americans visiting Canada will be able to buy and smoke legally while visiting. There’s even talk of the country opening Amsterdam-style coffee shops. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, aye.
Portugal has taken a unique approach to all drugs, including cannabis, in that the possession and consumption of drugs for personal use is a non-criminal offense, according to Sensiseeds.com. This method actually led to a drop in hard drug usage among the Portuguese. Make sure to consume and carry in small amounts, as being caught with an amount deemed more than necessary for personal use could land you a year in jail and a hefty fine.
Weed is legal in the land Down Under, but only if you’re one “seriously ill” Australian, according to News.com.au. The rules surrounding who can and can’t access medical marijuana are strict and any medical cannabis in the country has to be imported, but soon, thanks to the changing laws, the plant will be grown within the country.
The land of chocolate and neutrality has recently decriminalized the possession of cannabis, so long as it’s in small doses. Cultivation, selling, and usage is still considered a crime. Talkingdrugs.org reports that, thanks to a loophole in the law, the selling and consumption of “C-Pure,” cannabis that contains less than one percent of THC, is perfectly legal under Swiss law. Just hope that if the Swiss police catch you with some C-Pure they take your word for it, because it looks exactly like regular, THC-fueled weed.
Argentina is another country on the growing list of countries to recently legalize medical marijuana, according to Drugpolicy.org. What’s even better is that you can get your medical greens without losing any financial greens; medical marijuana will come at no cost to patients. All this ganja goodness was made possible by a group of 136 Argentine families who petitioned their government to allow marijuana use to treat their children who suffered from epilepsy, autism, and other ailments. The family that heals together can now do so by smoking together.
On paper, marijuana is illegal in Cambodia, but police usually turn a blind eye at locals who grow and consume a small amount of their own weed, according to Phnompenpost.com. It’s common for drug dealers to hang out in tourist areas, and try to hawk their supplies at you, saying that the police mostly look for people selling harder drugs, like cocaine and heroin. Cambodia is also home of the weed-infused “happy pizza,” which is sure to both make you hungry and cure that hunger.
Marijuana is illegal but decriminalized in Costa Rica. It’s permissible to carry a small amount of weed, but Costa Rican law doesn’t specify how much constitutes “a small amount” or whether or not growing a plant for personal use is illegal, according to The Costa Rican News. This has lead many to feel like, for the most part, personal use of marijuana is fine and legal. There’s also been a recent movement to make medical marijuana legal.
Medical cannabis is legal in Czech Republic and one may carry up to 15 grams for personal use, though production and selling is illegal according to Kushtourism.com. Because the country has a history of relaxed drug laws there’s a large cannabis culture that can be seen mostly in urban areas, like Prague. Tourists can easily find a friendly local that’s willing to discreetly sell them a small amount of weed; just partake in private.
In Ecuador marijuana is decriminalized as long as you possess only 10 grams or less of it for personal use. And, as always, selling the drug is illegal. Cuencahighlife.com reports that, despite the laws, marijuana plants grow regularly in Ecuador due to the favorable climate for cultivation and that police are rarely looking to arrest residents for smoking. The city of Cuenca in Ecuador is even known for their weed-infused chocolate bon bon’s, which are said to give consumers a “mellow vibration.”
Marijuana for medical or religious purposes is legal in this pasta-loving country, but still illegal if used for personal use. Getting caught with even small amounts of marijuana for personal use can still land you a misdemeanor, but Liberties.eu reports that it’s more likely that an offender will get a slap on the wrist or pay a fine, especially for first time offenders.
You can possess up to 7.5 grams of marijuana for personal use in Estonia, where the drug is decriminalized but still illegal. Just don’t go over the set limit, or sell any, unless you want to know what the inside of an Estonian jail look like for five years, according to Thrillist.com.
Mexican law currently allows up to five grams of marijuana for personal use. Although the drug is still illegal it’s also decriminalized, and legal for medicinal use, according to CNN. Residents are also allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants for personal use. One can only assume this is because a burrito and bowl of dank weed sounds muy bien.
Personal use of marijuana has been decriminalized in Israel, but getting caught smoking in public will still cost you a $270 fine, according to Haaretz.com. Instead of criminal punishment, the Israeli government wants to focus on “a way to implement the new policy, which will emphasize public information and treatment,” according to the Public Security Minister of Israel, Gilad Erdan.
You can legally consume cannabis in Germany for both medical and recreational use. Medically speaking, you can even get your cannabis costs covered by medical insurance and pick up your prescription at a pharmacy. Recreational users can still be fined, but the act itself is decriminalized.