Marijuana Laws Around the World: What You Need to Know
Following the massive reception and interest for 3Dponics endeavours in the medical marijuana industry, it seems like an opportune time to discuss the current state of marijuana legislation in Canada, the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Where is marijuana legal and what can it be used for? Which countries have completely outlawed marijuana consumption and which seem to be changing their views by decriminalizing cannabis?
For those who depend on or plan to use marijuana for medical purposes, these are all-important questions that need to be answered.
Where is cannabis legal and where is it illegal?
While marijuana is being decriminalized in many countries across the world, there are still a number of places where the mere possession of marijuana is considered a serious crime that entails harsh punishments.
Naturally, if you depend on medical marijuana for the treatment of certain conditions, it’s a good idea to be conscious of the places where it is illegal, especially if you’re traveling or moving.
Marijuana legislation in Canada
In Canada, marijuana is legal for medical applications. Through Health Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purpose Regulations, which came into effect in March 2014, Canadians in need can legally and safely obtain medical marijuana by obtaining medical documentation from a healthcare practitioner, registration with a licensed producer, and direct delivery of the marijuana from the producer supervised under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Learn more about obtaining a medical marijuana license in Canada.
Marijuana is not legalized for recreational use in Canada as of yet. However, the complete legalization of marijuana in Canada has begun to pick up steam, with the majority of Canadians (66%), being in favour of completely legalizing marijuana.
Marijuana legislation in the United States
While marijuana use remains illegal at the federal level in the United States, 23 individual states have legalized marijuana use to different degrees.
In Washington and Colorado, cannabis is legal for both recreational and medical uses. In other states, marijuana is legal but only for certain medical uses, often requiring a doctor’s approval. Despite this, marijuana is still completely illegal in many states.
Because the legal status of marijuana varies from state to state, it is important to stay informed and up to date.
Cannabis laws in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, cannabis has been subject to various changes in legislation over the years.
From 1928 to 2004, it was considered a Class B drug, which meant cannabis possession could lead to arrest. Between 2005 and 2009, it was downgraded to a Class C drug, meaning that arrest for possession was no longer a which meant it was considered less harmful and removed the threat of arrest for possession.
Since 2009, it has once again been classified a Class B drug. The only cannabis medication licensed for use in the U.K. is known as Savitex, and it is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
In many other European countries, however, marijuana is still completely illegal. Meanwhile, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands all have the least strict cannabis laws.
Marijuana laws in Japan
As in most Asian countries, including China, Malaysia and the Philippines, marijuana laws are very strict in Japan. Possession of marijuana is illegal, with up to 5 years in prison as a penalty. Trafficking marijuana can land up to 10 years in jail and fines up to 30 million yen.
Cannabis laws in Singapore
As one of the strictest countries in the world, Singapore considers marijuana a Class A drug according to the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is thus illegal to possess, sell or use marijuana for any purpose whatsoever. In fact, anyone caught possessing or consuming cannabis can receive a fine up to $20,000, 10 years in prison or both. Anyone caught trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis is sentenced to the death penalty.
Cannabis legislation in South Korea
Cannabis is strictly forbidden in South Korea, and anyone convicted can face severe fines and jail time. In addition to this, there have been cases where South Koreans who used marijuana outside of the country were required to take drug tests upon their return home and criminally charged if those tests came back positive.
The unknown future of marijuana
With just this handful of countries we’ve discussed, it is evident the world still has differing opinions and laws about cannabis, whether it be for medical or for recreational uses. However, with people becoming more educated and accepting of the various medical benefits of marijuana, it may not be long before huge changes in legislation occur. Let us know what you think!