If you’re going to smoke weed in a different country, it’s in your best interest to know the laws.
There are dramatically different weed laws around the world. Many of us learned that recently after watching WNBA star Brittney Griner land 9 years in Russian prison for carrying a vape cartridge while playing overseas.
Striking moments like that aren’t something we’d wish upon anyone. In Griner’s defense, she didn’t know the half-empty cartridge was in her bag.
It’s these horrid experiences that motivate us to help you understand the dangers of consuming, possessing, or even talking about cannabis around the world.
As unfortunate as it is, there is still a brutal stigma around cannabis. To help you stay safe, we’ve compiled a list of 5 countries you should and shouldn’t smoke weed in.
This one should be a no-brainer, especially after watching what went down with Brittney Griner. Currently, cannabis is strictly illegal in Russia, with no plans to legalize it for medicinal or recreational use. In fact, sources say Russia has the highest number of people incarcerated for drug offenses, per capita, in Europe. Most of those drug offenses are cannabis-related.
Saudi Arabia is another country that is strictly against the possession, sale, use, and cultivation of cannabis. If you’re caught with any amount of cannabis, the typical punishment is imprisonment. The same goes for most other Islamic countries, as the plant doesn’t align with their religious beliefs.
The only way you could smoke weed in Malaysia is if you’re a registered medical patient, as the country does have a medical marijuana program. However, the consequences of recreational use are drastically different. If you’re caught with over 200 grams, you’re considered a drug trafficker. Drug traffickers are punished with a mandatory death penalty.
Similar to other southeast Asian countries, Vietnam strictly prohibits cannabis. It’s highly illegal to possess, sell, and cultivate the plant, which can land some intense penalties. Cannabis is a narcotic in Vietnam, and the consequences could be imprisonment or the death penalty if caught with large quantities.
Although cannabis use is becoming more popular in Iran, the country also has some of the harshest penalties. If the laws are enforced, individuals caught with large amounts of weed can face fines, lashes, prison time, and even the death penalty.
Stroll outside for about 5 minutes anywhere in Canada, and you’ll smell weed. The country legalized recreational use in 2018, and since then, dispensaries have been popping up left and right. Access to legal cannabis is a breeze, and there are no legal repercussions to consuming and possessing it.
Uruguay was the first country worldwide to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. It’s also one of the most popular and preferred substances in the country. Impressively, weed has been legal here for just under a decade. Its decision to legalize cannabis has paved the way for the modern industry we know and love.
Late last year, Malta partly legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Prime Minister Robert Abela announced in 2021 that it’s legal to possess up to 7 grams of weed and to grow up to 4 plants at home. Plus, all cannabis-related records have been expunged. We love to see it.
Cannabis is in a legal gray area in Mexico. For one thing, the country decriminalized the possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis in 2009. The laws aren’t too strictly enforced either, meaning if you’re responsible about your consumption and don’t possess more than 5 grams at a time, you’re in the legal clear.
If you’re going to smoke weed in a different country, Spain is one of the safest places to do so. Although it’s not legal, it’s decriminalized. Personal and private cannabis consumption is permitted, but public consumption can lead to a fine. However, private cannabis bars and social clubs are allowed to provide individuals with weed to smoke on the property.