Cannabis Laws Across the Globe

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While some countries strictly prohibit cannabis even for recreational purposes, others legalize marijuana, understanding its positive impact from a medical perspective. In many countries, the cultivation, possession, and consumption of cannabis products are prohibited. Therefore, when ordering from a store like with plans to plant and grow cannabis seeds, carefully check whether your country is listed among the locations where such actions are restricted.

How is Cannabis Perceived Worldwide?

The first place in modern history where recreational cannabis became legal was Uruguay. Following suit in 2018, Canada allowed the use of medical marijuana but only in certain provinces. Now, there are locations where you can buy seeds, grow, consume, and try various edibles, as well as places where this is restricted. In the United States, laws also vary from state to state. As of 2024, recreational cannabis is legal in 15 states, and medical cannabis — in 36 states. At the federal level, the United States maintains a ban on the cultivation and consumption of cannabis. Such an unclear legal framework creates certain difficulties for companies involved in the cultivation and sale of similar products. Consumers are also not always sure they are acting within the framework of American laws, so it is important to carefully study the laws, restrictions, and rules in each location separately.

Rules Regarding Cannabis in Europe

When it comes to Europe, the Netherlands is considered the most lenient country regarding cannabis. Here, the sale and possession of small amounts of cannabis in licensed “coffee shops” are allowed under the “gedoogbeleid” policy. Specialized cafés operate across the country, where products containing cannabis (edibles) can be sampled, and establishments allowing the consumption of marijuana through vaporizers, bongs, and other means are also common. However, despite the common belief that anything goes, the consumption and cultivation of marijuana are strictly regulated and controlled.

A similar situation is observed in Spain. It is practically a gray area where marijuana consumption is decriminalized, but there are many restrictions regarding personal or commercial use. For example, personal possession and consumption are permitted, but sales are not.

In other European countries, legislation allows for moderate use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Medical cannabis can be obtained with a doctor’s prescription (in Germany). Under other circumstances, consumers may face fines, warnings, or interaction with institutions like “commissions on persuasion” (Portugal). It is important to distinguish between recreational cannabis, which is used for leisure or pleasure, and medical cannabis, which does not contain THC and, therefore, does not have intoxicating effects, only helping to alleviate pain, overcome anxiety and depressive states, and is part of the treatment protocol for cancer patients.

European Countries Where Marijuana Is Strictly Prohibited

In France, the cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana for any purpose are completely prohibited. However, France leads the list of European countries in terms of cannabis consumption levels, so active discussions are underway regarding regulating this issue legislatively.

In the United Kingdom, strict rules and restrictions are also in place, as cannabis is considered a Class B drug. Access to medical cannabis is limited and allowed only in exceptional cases.

Laws Regarding Marijuana in South America

Uruguay, as mentioned earlier, was the first to change its policy regarding the recreational use of marijuana. Since 2013, it has been legal, along with the possibility of growing weed for personal use. Marijuana is openly sold in pharmacies, and it can be purchased by adults (18 years and older). Argentina and Colombia are still considering the possibility of legalizing recreational cannabis, but medical use is already permitted.

Marijuana Laws in Asia

Asia has very conservative rules regarding cannabis. If you reside in Singapore, Malaysia, or Indonesia, you cannot grow, possess, or sell it. Punishments range from lengthy imprisonment to the death penalty. Thailand and South Korea have a somewhat more lenient approach. Currently, they are considering regulations for this market, and in some cases, medical cannabis use is already allowed.

Rules in African Countries

Lesotho and Zimbabwe not only legalized marijuana, but they actively cultivate it for export. In most regions where cultivation and sales significantly impact the economy and are one of the few ways to support the country’s GDP, cannabis is legalized. Hemp can be used for both personal and medical purposes without locals facing legal issues. However, not all countries on this continent are so lenient. If local communities decide that it contradicts social norms, consumption and cultivation of cannabis are restricted and punished.

Regulations Regarding Cannabis in Australia and New Zealand

Australia takes a lenient stance on cannabis. The country was among the first to legalize marijuana federally. This legalization applies not only to medical cannabis, which is allowed in all states, but also to recreational use — although such products are not legalized across the entire country. Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana is strictly regulated and can only be obtained with a prescription.

Residents of New Zealand also support cannabis law reform, where medical marijuana is already legal, but legislation regarding recreational marijuana has not been passed. In 2020, the country held a referendum, but society did not provide the necessary support for such a decision.

Bottom Line

The more research emerges regarding the beneficial properties of hemp, the more leniently different countries approach the use of such products within their territories. It is often the case that the benefits of marijuana can outweigh the potential harm. Therefore, an increasing number of states are revising their regulations and attempting to regulate the cultivation and consumption of hemp products more leniently. However, when you want to buy, grow, or consume marijuana, it is essential to familiarize yourself carefully with the norms of the country and region where you are located. Rules and restrictions can vary even within the same country, creating certain inconveniences and difficulties. So, be cautious.

The post Cannabis Laws Across the Globe appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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