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Cannabis Around The World

cannabis worldwide

The Legality of Cannabis Across the World

  • How different places approach the legality of cannabis differently.

Have you been thinking about traveling to sample some of the world’s finest cannabis? It’s not a bad idea. The traditions, consumption styles, and products available around the world vary wildly. If you’re looking to find the places where you should and shouldn’t go to sample the world’s cannabis products, read on. This post covers where cannabis is legal, where it’s not, and where the situation is rather ambiguous.

Countries Where Cannabis is Recreationally Legal

North Korea?

There are some reports from people who’ve been there that indicate North Korea may have legal cannabis.

This is unverified and it is not recommended to travel there to find out for yourself.


In 2012, Uruguay became the first country in the world to announce that it would fully legalize cannabis for personal consumption. It was a historic breakthrough.

In 2017, the market matured and the government began selling recreational cannabis to its citizens and residents.


A year later, the second country in the world, Canada, legalized cannabis for recreational consumption.

As of now, these remain the only two countries where recreational cannabis consumption has been fully legalized and implemented.

However, there are some countries where cannabis consumption is decriminalized without being legalized, such as:






And many more

Countries Where Cannabis is Medically Legal


For a few years, Germany has allowed people access to medical cannabis. However, their healthcare system seems to not pay for the prescriptions, which can be cost-prohibitive for many consumers.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic legalized medical cannabis in April of 2013. Their public health insurance system covers 90% of the prescription up to 30g per month for each patient.

There continues to be a misconception that Prague and the Czech Republic are much like Amsterdam, but do not be fooled. You won’t be prosecuted for carrying small amounts of cannabis, but it’s only medically legal to residents and citizens.


Argentina legalized medical cannabis in March of 2017. It isn’t the only South American country that has done so.


Colombia’s medical marijuana program is a far cry from its bloody history just a few decades ago. The country has gone from mindless chaos over drugs to being one of the best places in the world to find high-quality cannabis. And the country is reveling in the revenue.

There are many countries where cannabis has been legalized for medical consumption.

This is especially true in Europe where cannabis laws have been snowballing and its consumption has been increasingly normalized, but some places there still have ambiguous drug laws.

Countries Where Cannabis Legality is Highly Ambiguous


Cannabis can be openly bought in Switzerland, but you might consume it and wonder when its effects are going to hit you. That’s because the only flower that can be sold must contain less than 1% THC.

Cannabis seems to be legal in Switzerland, but it’s not the cannabis to which you’re accustomed.

United States of America

Highly ambiguous is the best way to describe the cannabis laws in the United States. State laws range from full-out prohibition to recreationally-available products.

At the federal level, however, cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug.

This means that interstate travel with cannabis, even between states with recreational cannabis, remains illegal at the federal level.

The cannabis laws in the United States are certainly lagging behind its northern neighbor’s policy, but it isn’t the only country with ambiguous cannabis laws.


India, despite talks of it possibly legalizing cannabis, maintains that cannabis is illegal.

However, during their annual celebration of Holi, the police seem to turn a blind eye to the rampant consumption of bhang—an assortment of cannabis-based drinks consumed throughout the country.


Again, in Cambodia, cannabis is considered illegal, but you wouldn’t know it. Walk down the street in any of the major cities, like Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, and you’ll see restaurants openly selling “happy” pizzas, shakes, and more. The “happy” on these products is code for “infused with cannabis.”

You can sit at a restaurant in the capital of Cambodia, where cannabis is illegal, and be served a pizza covered in cannabis that will shift the outcome of your next four to twelve hours.

South Africa

In 2018, South Africa’s Supreme Court ruled that cannabis cultivation and consumption for personal use were protected under the constitution. This may sound like they ruled that cannabis is legal, however, its distribution, transfer, and sale remain illegal.

Social clubs appear to be opening up in some places around the country. Reports of highly guarded, private clubs, as well as 420-style cafes opening have been reported in forums and comment sections on South African websites.

However, their legality remains ambiguous.


In late 2019, the Australian Capital Territory legalized recreational cannabis. However, the recreational aspects of cannabis are still criminalized in other states.

The truth is, many countries have ambiguous cannabis laws and the situation is fluid. Let’s take a look at the countries where cannabis continues to remain illegal in all of its forms.

Countries Where Cannabis is Highly Illegal

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia isn’t a great place for people involved with cannabis. Cannabis smugglers can face the death penalty. Personal consumption and possession will lead to imprisonment.


Vladimir Putin is no fan of cannabis. While he did decide to let medical cannabis into the 2018 FIFA World Cup under special exceptions, his country also prosecutes young people for having small amounts of medical cannabis on them.

Now that you know more about the world’s current cannabis situation, are you thinking about traveling somewhere to sample some legal cannabis? Let us know what your plans are in the comment section!

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