Where is weed legal? The world has rapidly evolved in the last few years. Even 2016 itself has seen several changes, both those already enacted and those which will most likely take place in November. As a cannabis consumer, it falls on you to stay up-to-date with current cannabis laws. Because no officers will likely let you go with an FYI warning if you get caught in an illegal state or country. So here is the latest roundup of where in the world cannabis is legal, as best as could be found.
Where is weed legal in the United States
Within the States, cannabis remains federally illegal. But half the country has legalized it for medical or recreational purposes. Each state differs, so be wary traveling.
Recreationally legal states
Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont have all legalized medical use for varying conditions. Also, the territory of Puerto Rico’s governor signed an executive order to legalize medical cannabis.
States that have legalized forms of cannabis that don’t get you high for medical purposes include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In addition, possession without medical necessity has been decriminalized in these states: California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.
Finally, the United States territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands have decriminalized minor possession under an ounce.
Few states in the US still consider all forms and uses for cannabis illegal. As a result, you generally want to avoid Idaho, Indiana, and West Virginia. Yet, with the exception of Idaho, the other two allow for conditional release on probation in lieu of jail for certain circumstances.
Warning about per se DUID
In the following states, regardless of legal status, there are laws on the books you should be aware of. Per se DUID laws mean that a person pulled over and tested can be found guilty of driving under the influence for even trace amounts of metabolites in their system. This poses a threat, considering those metabolites can stay for weeks in the system, especially in regular users.
Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Australia has decriminalized personal use in the Northern Territory, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. For medical purposes, it is legal in Victoria and New South Wales. Full medical legalization is imminent.
Recreationally legal countries abroad
Medically legal countries
Canada, Croatia, Israel, Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, we thank you for your compassion. It seems like, throughout the world, this at the very least should be the case.
Seems like Italy has begun to warm up to medical legalization in the last year.
Decriminalized or tolerated
Countries where cannabis supporters consider cannabis legal, or at least tolerated, include: Argentina, Albania, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Germany and the Netherlands.
In addition, Malta has decriminalized up to 3.5 grams, and Moldova punishes small amounts with a fine or community service. Sri Lanka is illegal, but cannabis is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. Despite Ukraine decriminalizing cannabis, with Russia’s heavy influence in the region at the moment, I wouldn’t trust it lasting.
The sheer number of countries where cannabis remains illegal is stupefying, so lets at least break them down by alphabetical order.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan
Bahrain, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi
Cameroon, Chad, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Cuba
Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica
Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France
Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Greenland, Guatemala, Guyana
Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary
Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Jordan
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar
Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway
Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda
Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Syria
Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Warning about death penalties
Yes, in some countries, you can even get the death penalty for weed! Do not ever go into these countries with enough to be considered trafficking or dealing. In the Philippines, you won’t even get a trial. If you are suspected of or caught selling drugs, you will be executed in the streets.
Furthermore, in Indonesia, you face a unique ordeal. There, they are considering making dealers eat their drugs until they die. Of course, they still have the firing squad, since cannabis is non-toxic.
Afghanistan, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Morocco remains one of the top hash producers in the world, and though highly illegal, cannabis is tolerated depending on the region. Their economy depends on it. The UK has recently begun giving warnings for personal possession, and enforcement varies wildly by area, but it remains illegal.
Finally, North Korean laws on cannabis (and just about everything else) are unknown to the rest of the world.
Due to legal status, do you have to plan your vacations differently? Tell us on social media or in the comments below.
His other positions include Co-founder and product design for Cool Vapes and Creative Director for Ergrow Systems.
He is also Founder / President / Creative Director for The Official Cannabis Book of World Records.
Unity through Compassion!