Legal status of cocaine

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The Legal Status of Cocaine differs from legal elements in some countries to outright illegal status in others. While every single country has banned the sale of cocaine for recreational use, some have legalized it for possession, personal use, transportation, and cultivation, while some have decriminalized it for certain uses.

List by country[edit]

Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes
 Argentina Decriminalized for private use Illegal Illegal Illegal The consumption and possession of fresh coca leaves for chewing and teas is legal.[1]
 Australia Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically

Cocaine is a Schedule 8 (controlled) drug permitting some medical use, but is otherwise outlawed.[2]

 Bahamas Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Possession and use is illegal.[3]
 Bangladesh Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal All kind of uses, selling, cultivation and transportation is illegal.
 Bolivia Decriminalized up to less than 50 grams Illegal Illegal Legal Limited private cultivation of coca is legal in Bolivia, where chewing the leaves and drinking coca tea are considered cultural practices, in particular in the mountainous regions. Processed cocaine is illegal but decriminalized up to less than 50 grams.[4]
 Brazil Decriminalized for private use Illegal Illegal Illegal Public consumption and selling of cocaine are considered crimes. Punishments for public consumption include a warning about the drugs effects, community service (5 to 10 months), and educational courses or programs. Punishment for the selling of cocaine is 5 to 15 years of jail, a R$500–1,500 fine and course or program attendance. The decision on which purpose the apprehended drug had is based on judge decision.[5]
 Canada Illegal Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically Possession and use is illegal.[6] Cocaine remains a Schedule I drug.
 Colombia Legal (up to 1 gram) Illegal Legal Legal Since 1994, possession of 1 gram of cocaine has been legal for personal use.[7][8] Sale remains illegal, but personal production or gifts of cocaine are permitted.
 Czech Republic Decriminalised (up to 1 gram) Illegal Illegal Illegal Possession of up to 1 gram for personal use is punishable by fine of up to 15000 CZK according to act 167/1998 §39, possession of higher amount is illegal according to Criminal code with up to 2-year sentence. Trafficking is punishable by 2–18 years in prison, depending on the scale and other circumstances.[9][citation needed]
 China Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal.[10]
 Germany Legal Medically, Decriminalized Illegal Illegal Illegal Possession of cocaine without a medical prescription is illegal. Small amounts for personal consumption may go unpunished for first-time or non-regular offenders, however this varies by state. Usually revocation of a driving license will follow from confiscation of any drug except marijuana, since drug users are considered a road hazard.[11]
 Greece Decriminalized for private use Legal only for medical reasons and with license by government Illegal Illegal Use, possession and cultivation of class B drugs is illegal in Greece except for medical reasons. Personal use might be decriminalized. Use in public is also illegal.[12]
 India Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal with a mandatory 10-year sentence. But its often upheld and wrongly assumed and no proof has been given that Freely Available in Local Shops in Cities.[13]
 Ireland Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Cocaine use, possession, sale, cultivation and transport is illegal.[citation needed]
 Japan Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Penalty for cocaine consumption: maximum of 7 years in jail.[14]
 Luxembourg Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal.[citation needed]
 Malaysia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal.[15]
 Mexico Legal (up to 1 Gram) Illegal Illegal Illegal There is no penalty for carrying up to 1/2 a gram, however any amount over that is illegal.[16]
 Netherlands Unenforced (small amounts) Illegal Illegal Illegal Cocaine is considered an illegal hard-drug. Possession, production and trade are not allowed as stated in the Opium Law of 1928. Although technically illegal, possession of less than half a gram usually goes unpunished.[17][18]
 New Zealand Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Cocaine is a Class A drug. The coca leaf and preparations of cocaine containing no more than 0.1% cocaine base, in such a way that the cocaine cannot be recovered, are both classified as Class C, and are punishable with 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $500.[19][20]
 Nigeria Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal It is illegal to import, manufacture, process, plant or grow, export, transport, traffic, sell, buy, expose for sale, smoke, inhale, inject, possess or deal with cocaine.[citation needed][21]
 Pakistan Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal.[22]
 Philippines Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is illegal. Possession of cocaine is explicitly named as an illegal substance under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The possession 10 grams or more of cocaine or cocaine hydrochloride is punishable by up to life imprisonment.[23]
 Peru Legal (up to 2 grams of cocaine or 5 grams of cocaine-freebase) Illegal Illegal Legal (Coca Plants) Cultivation of coca plants is legal, and coca leaves are sold openly on markets. Similarly to Bolivia, chewing leaves and drinking coca tea are cultural practices. Possession of up to 2 grams of cocaine or up to 5 grams of coca paste is legal for personal use in Peru per Article 299 of the Peruvian Penal Code. It is important to note that if a person possess two or more kinds of drugs at the same time it is considered criminal offense.[24]
 Portugal Decriminalized up to 2 grams Illegal Illegal Illegal Personal use of cocaine is decriminalized. Drug abuse is dealt with by administrative and medical intervention. Trafficking is illegal.[25]
 Saudi Arabia Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession of cocaine is punishable by death.[citation needed]
 Singapore Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Use and possession is punishable by death.[26]
 South Africa Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal It is a criminal offense to have cocaine in your possession.[27]
  Switzerland Possession of small amounts decriminalized Illegal Illegal Illegal Traffickers of cocaine are sentenced with jail. Personal use is punished with a fine, contrary to common belief possession of up to 18 grams is not legal. According to a recent study, 5 Swiss cities (St Gallen, Bern, Zurich, Basel and Geneva) were listed among top 10 European cities for cocaine use.[28][29] Personal consumption and possession of small amounts, or sharing with adults free of charge is not liable to prosecution based on the Swiss federal law. [30]
 Thailand Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Thailand is very strict on drugs and it is very common to be stopped, searched and asked to given urine samples on the street, especially in Bangkok. Being caught with intent to sell is punishable by 10 years to life in prison. Consumption for personal use is 1 – 10 years in prison or a fine, or both.[31]
 United Kingdom Illegal Illegal Illegal Illegal Cocaine was first made illegal by the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920. It is now classed as a Class A drug, controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Possession carries a punishment of up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Supply and production carries a punishment of up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.[32] It is legal for medical use as a local anaesthetic.
 United States Legal Medically, decriminalized in the state of Oregon Legal Medically Legal Medically Legal Medically Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. It was once available in a liquid preparation for use in hospitals or medical/surgical centers, but is no longer available for prescription but remains legal for medical use as the discontinuation of product was due to low demand and not due to legal issues.[33]
Country Possession Sale Transport Cultivation Notes

References[edit]

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