Legality of cannabis

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Map of world cannabis laws
Legality of cannabis across the world (for possession of
small amounts)

  Legal or essentially legal
  Illegal but decriminalized
  Illegal but often unenforced
  No information

Note: Includes laws which have not yet gone into effect.

The legality of cannabis for medical and recreational use varies by country, in terms of its possession, distribution, and cultivation, and (in regards to medical) how it can be consumed and what medical conditions it can be used for. These policies in most countries are regulated by the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs that was ratified in 1961, along with the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.[1][2]

The use of cannabis for recreational purposes is prohibited in most countries; however, many have adopted a policy of decriminalization to make simple possession a non-criminal offense (often similar to a minor traffic violation). Others have much more severe penalties such as some Asian and Middle Eastern countries where possession of even small amounts is punishable by imprisonment for several years.[3] Countries that have effectively legalized recreational cannabis include Canada, Georgia, Spain, and Uruguay. In the United States, 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of cannabis. In the European part of the Netherlands possession of small amounts and buying from designated coffeeshops is decriminalised.

Countries that have legalized the medical use of cannabis include Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Others have more restrictive laws that only allow the use of certain cannabinoid drugs, such as Sativex or Marinol. In the United States, 31 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of cannabis, but at the federal level its use remains prohibited for any purpose.

By country[edit]

Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Production banned by King Zahir Shah in 1973.[4]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
The law of prohibition exists but however with high availability of cannabis plants throughout the country, this law is often unenforced.[5][6][7]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal Illegal

Decriminalized for personal use in small amounts and for consumption in private locations, the Supreme Court ruled in 2009.[8]

Medicinal cannabis is legal in Chubut since 23 September 2016[9], in Santa Fe since 30 November 2016[10] and at national level since 21 September 2017.[11]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Decriminalized for personal use in the Northern Territory, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory[12][13] Legal at federal level and in all states.[14] Qualifying conditions and other details vary by state.[15] Legal for medical purposes.


Possession for personal use decriminalized as of January 2016. Cannabis-derived drugs Allowed for medical purposes.[16]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (often unenforced) Illegal Illegal
Sale banned in 1989.[17] Possession of cannabis is illegal in Bangladesh, with penalties ranging from six months to fifteen years. However, cannabis is openly sold in many parts of the country and the laws are rarely enforced [18][19]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized up to three grams) Cannabis-derived drugs[20] Illegal (decriminalized one plant)
Since 2003, adults over the age of eighteen had been allowed to possess up to three grams.[21][22]


Illegal (decriminalized up to 10 grams) Illegal Illegal
Cannabis use in Belize is common and largely tolerated; however, possession can result in fines or imprisonment.[23] In 2016, national media reported that legislation to decriminalize possession of up to ten grams was "in the works".[24]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is illegal, but grows prolifically in Bhutan and has multiple traditional uses, such as feeding pigs and producing textiles.[25]


Decriminalized up to 50 grams Illegal Illegal

 Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
In 2016 it was announced that the Ministry of Civil Affairs had formed a task force to explore the legalizing of cannabis and cannabinoids for medicinal purposes.[26]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis (or dagga) is illegal.[27][28]


Illegal (decriminalized for small amounts and private use) Illegal Illegal (decriminalized for small amounts)

Since 2006, the possession of illegal drugs like cannabis (for personal consumption) entails a warning, community service and education on the effects of drug use. The same measures apply to the planting or preparation of small amounts of any illegal drug.

Selling and transportation of any illegal drugs, as well as the possession or cultivation of larger amounts is characterized as drug trafficking, a criminal act punished with five to fifteen years in prison and a significant fine.[29]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is classified as a class A (High-risk) drug, together with Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy). Until 2004, a loosely defined "personal dose" existed.

 Burkina Faso[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (unenforced) Illegal Illegal (unenforced)
Cannabis is formally illegal in Cambodia.[30] This prohibition is however lax and enforced opportunistically.[31][32][33] Many "Happy" restaurants located in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville publicly offer food cooked with marijuana, or as a side garnish.[34]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (to be legalized October 17, 2018) Legal Illegal (to be legalized October 17, 2018)
Legal with government issued licence for medicinal or industrial purposes. On 20 April 2016, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that new legislation would be introduced in spring 2017 to legalize and regulate cannabis in Canada.[35] See Legislation: "Controlled Drugs and Substances Act"[36]

 Cape Verde[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Central African Republic[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal Legal[37]

In 2005, Law 20.000 formally decriminalized private and personal cannabis use.[38] Since 2014, Chile allows the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal purposes with the authorization of The Chilean Agriculture Service (SAG).[39] Cultivation of marijuana, personal or collective, is legal in Chile. The Supreme Court ruled in 2015.[40][41][42] Sale of marijuana-derived medication is allowed on prescription in pharmacies, from December 2015.[43]

Currently in 2016, a regulation bill which will allow Chileans to grow small amounts of marijuana for medicinal, recreational or spiritual use has been approved by the country's lower house of Congress.[44][45]

 People's Republic of China (PRC)[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal[46]


Illegal (decriminalized for up to 22 grams for personal use) Legal for medical use. Legal up to twenty plants for personal consumption. No limit for medicinal use and if licensed by the "National Anti-narcotics Council"
Since 1994, cannabis has been legalized for possession of small amounts up to 22 grams for personal consumption. In 2016, The Supreme Court of Justice stated that someone who is caught with a greater amount than the statutory limit cannot be criminally prosecuted if it is found that the person carries the substance to satisfy their own consumption needs.[47] It is legal to possess up to twenty plants for personal consumption.[48][49][50]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis was legal during the Comorian historical period between January 1975 and May 1978, when president Ali Soilih legalized cannabis consumption among other measures.[51][52]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Republic of the Congo[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Costa Rica[edit]

Illegal (decriminalized)[53][54] Illegal Illegal (decriminalized)
Some interpret the law to say cannabis is illegal, but there is a high tolerance of smoking marijuana throughout the country.[53] A decriminalization system is de facto implemented, since police officers do not detain people carrying enough for only personal consumption, yet no amount has been defined as a minimum for possession. The usage of cannabis in Costa Rica is very high.[54]


Illegal (decriminalized)[55][56] Legal[56] Illegal

From 2013, the possession of small amount of marijuana and other light drugs is a misdemeanor which leads to a fine of 5000–20000kn ($800–3500) depending on the case in question.

In 2015, the Ministry of Health officially legalized the use of cannabis-based drugs for medicinal purposes for patients with illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or AIDS.[56]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Legal for cancer patients[57] Illegal (decriminalized for some farms to grow hemp)
Class B substance – life imprisonment is possible for use and maximum eight years for possession (at the maximum two years for the first offence for under 25-year-olds).[58]

 Czech Republic[edit]

Illegal (Decriminalized up to 10 grams since 2014.[59] Initially decriminalized in 2010 for up to 15 grams.[60]) Legal Illegal (Cultivation of up to five plants decriminalized. Cultivation for medicinal purposes subject to license legal.)

Since 2010 possession of up to fifteen grams for personal or medicinal use or cultivation of up to five plants is a misdemeanor subject to minor fine - mostly not enforced. Popular destination for smokers.[61][62]

Medicinal use of cannabis on prescription has been legal and regulated since 2013.[63][64]


Illegal for recreational use, however, the law is often unenforced by police. (Declared legal in Freetown but this is unrecognized by Danish authorities) Legal Legal with government license. Licenses issued for medical production only.
As with all drugs, cannabis-related offences are punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to two years[65] Freetown Christiania, a self-declared autonomous community in Copenhagen, is known for its cannabis trade.


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Class B drug to cultivate, sell or possess.[66]

 Dominican Republic[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 East Timor[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal (decriminalized up to ten grams) Illegal Illegal
As defined by Law 108, possession of small amounts of cannabis is decriminalized.[67][68][69] Possession of under ten grams is considered personal use and it is not punished.[70]


Illegal (but often unenforced) Illegal Illegal
Although technically illegal, use is widespread and part of every day culture. Convictions for personal use are very rare.[71] Formerly a plant of high status with several documented medicinal uses in ancient times, cannabis was made illegal in 1925 with the League of Nations’ Geneva International Convention on Narcotic Control, and has been aggressively targeted at various points since then.[72]

 El Salvador[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Equatorial Guinea[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized) Illegal Illegal
Up to 7.5 grams is considered an amount for personal use, and is punished with a fine. Large amounts and distribution are criminal offences and punishable with a custodial sentence of up to half a decade.[73]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Despite being the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari movement, possession of cannabis can result in up to six months imprisonment.[74]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (but sometimes not enforced for small amounts) Legal under license. Illegal (medicinal use only)

Since 2001 personal use cases are generally not prosecuted in court but subject to summary fine.

Since 2006, use of medicinal cannabis has been possible under a special license. In 2014, 223 licenses were issued.[75]


Illegal Some cannabis-derived drugs. Illegal
Cultivating, selling, owning or consuming cannabis is prohibited.[76] However, legislation permitting the sale of medications containing cannabis derivatives was enacted in June 2013.[77][78]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Legal for possession and consumption but not for sale, per a July 2018 ruling by the Constitutional Court of Georgia[79][80] Legal as permitted by July 2018 Constitutional Court ruling Illegal


The possession of recreational cannabis is illegal, while consumption itself is legal on the basis of it being considered self-harm. Legal to those with a prescription Illegal
(Legal if permission is given by "Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices")

The possession of recreational cannabis is illegal, while consumption itself is legal on the basis of it being considered self-harm, which is not considered a crime. The possession of small amounts is prosecuted, but charges are virtually always dropped.

By January 2015, 241 patients have obtained permission for medicinal cannabis products from a pharmacy since 2008.[81] In mid 2016 around 5000 patients received cannabis products.[82]

On 4 May 2016 the Cabinet of Germany decided to approve the measure for legal cannabis for seriously ill patients who have consulted with a doctor and "have no therapeutic alternative". German Health Minister, Hermann Gröhe, presented the legal draft on the legalization of medicinal cannabis to the cabinet, which took effect in early 2017.[83][84][82][85][86][87]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (but the amount of 0.5 grams or 1 pure / 2 impure cannabis cigarettes decriminalized in court if made sure to be for personal use).[88][89] Legal for medicinal purposes Illegal
Possession or use of even small amounts is illegal in Greece, but if found to be for personal use it's decriminalized in court. Individuals are arrested, although rarely convicted by court. Possession of large quantities may lead to several years in prison.[90]

 Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
In 2016 a constitutional commission rejected proposals to legalize medicinal or recreational use of cannabis.[91][92]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Possession of 15 grams or over can result in charges of drug trafficking.[93]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
The possession, sale, transportation and cultivation of cannabis is illegal in Honduras.[94]

 Hong Kong, SAR of China[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
The possession, sale, transportation, cultivation of cannabis is illegal under the Dangerous Drug Ordinance.[95] (Chapter 134 of the Law of Hong Kong)
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal illegal
There is no distinction in Hungarian law between illicit drugs according to dangers. Heroin use has the same legal consequences as cannabis use.[96]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Banned in 1969.[97] Consumption is illegal even in small amounts. Possession, sale, transportation and cultivation could result in jail time. Possession is not strictly enforced. Heavy fines are given.[98]


Illegal at the federal level.
Legal or tolerated in several states such as Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and the North-Eastern states.
Decriminalized in Gujarat.
Illegal Illegal at the federal level.
Industrial hemp legal at the state level in Uttarakhand.
Legal or tolerated in several states such as Bihar, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal and the North-Eastern states.
Government-owned shops in holy cities like Varanasi and few other north Indian states sell cannabis in the form of bhang. Despite the high prevalent usage, cannabis remains illegal, but is rarely enforced and treated as low priority across India. Large tracts of cannabis grow unchecked in the wild in many parts of northern and southern India.[99] In November 2015, Uttarakhand became the first state of India to legalise the production of industrial hemp.[100] Bhang was removed from the Prohibition Act in Gujarat in February 2017, hence its consumption and sale has been decriminalized in the state.[101] Many states such as Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and the North-Eastern states have their own laws allowing cannabis, locally known as Ganja. In 2016, a Private Member’s Bill was scheduled to be tabled in the Lok Sabha, which calls for the legalisation and regulation of "non-synthetic" intoxicants, including cannabis and opium.[102]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Banned in 1927.[103] Minimum sentence of four years in prison (additional fines may apply) if caught in possession.[104] However, if the user voluntarily reports himself/herself to the police, or is reported by his/her family, the charges will be dropped in accordance to 2009 Narcotics Act, article 24 paragraph 2, 3, 4.


Illegal (but not strictly enforced) Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal[105] Illegal[105] Illegal[105]
The National Drugs Strategy of 2009–2016 did not favour decriminalising cannabis.[106] A new strategy is planned from 2017.[107] Cannabis-derived medicines may be licensed since 2014.[108][109] A review of policy on medicinal cannabis was announced in November 2016,[110] and a private member's bill to legalise it passed second stage in the Dáil in December 2016.[111][112][113]


Illegal (decriminalization to take effect in April 2019) Legal Licensed medicinal providers only
Illegal for recreational use, but limited medicinal uses have been permitted since the 1990s.[114]
In early 2017, Gilad Erdan, the nation's Public Security Minister, announced that Israel planned to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for personal use.[115]
In March 2018, the Knesset (parliament) unanimously approved the decriminalization bill.[116]


Illegal (decriminalized; allowed religious usage) Legal Illegal
Possession of small amounts for personal use is a misdemeanor subject to fines and the suspension of documents (passports or drivers licenses). The sale of cannabis products is illegal and punishable by imprisonment; cultivation is likewise punishable by imprisonment, even if in small amounts and for exclusive personal use. Licensed cultivation for medicinal and industrial use is strictly regulated.[117]

 Ivory Coast[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized), legal if Rastafari Legal Legal
On 25 February 2015, the Jamaican House of Representatives passed a law decriminalizing possession of up to two ounces of cannabis. The new law includes provisions legalizing the cultivation for personal use of up to five plants, as well as setting up regulations for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for medicinal, religious purposes and natural growth.[118] In 2018, the first medical cannabis dispensary was opened in Jamaica.[119]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Restricted in 1948.[120] Use and possession are punishable by up to half a decade imprisonment and a fine. Cultivation, sale, and transport are punishable by up to 7 years or a decade imprisonment and a fine.[121]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (often unenforced) Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is illegal in Latvia.[122] Possession of larger quantities can be punished with up to 1.5 decades in prison. Possession of quantities up to one gram can result in a fine of €280, for second offences within a year period criminal charges are applied.


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Hashish banned in 1926;[123] cannabis cultivation banned in 1992.[124] Possession is illegal. However, large amounts are grown within the country and personal use, as long as not in public is not a major issue.[125]


Illegal (but tolerated) Illegal Medicinal cultivation with Ministry of Health authorisation[126]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal Illegal
Transportation and consumption are illegal. Since 2001, decriminalized and prison penalty has been substituted by a monetary fine ranging from €250 to €2,500.[127][128]

 Macau, SAR of China[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Legal Illegal

If one possesses a larger amount, a jail sentence of anywhere from three months to five years may be given.[129]

Medicinal cannabis was legalized in 2016.[130]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Malaysian legislation provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Individuals arrested in possession of 15 grams (0.5 ounces) of heroin or 200 grams (7 ounces) of marijuana are presumed by law to be trafficking in drugs.[131]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is illegal in Malawi, but remains a popular drug and widely cultivated; Malawian cannabis is famed internationally for its quality.[132] Chamba is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu.[133]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized up to 3.5g) Legal for medicinal purposes Illegal
Cultivation of a cannabis plant for personal use will no longer be punishable by a mandatory prison sentence or suspended sentence specialized doctors will be allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis
As of 2015, simple possession is decriminalized, but remains an arrestable offense for the police purpose of collecting intelligence about drug trafficking.[134][135]

 Marshall Islands[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Decriminalized for personal use Legal for medical use,
THC content below 1%.[136]
Legal for medical purposes.
Decriminalized for personal use.
On 21 August 2009 Mexico decriminalized "personal use" possession of up to five grams of Cannabis.[137]
In November 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that four individuals from the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Personal Use would be permitted to grow and smoke their own marijuana. The court voted 4-1 that prohibiting people from growing the drug for consumption was unconstitutional as it violated the human right to the free development of one's personality.[138]
In December 2016, Mexico's Senate voted to legalize the medical use of cannabis - this was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in April 2017.[139]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized) Illegal Illegal
Possession of small quantity and personal use is not a crime in Moldova, but it is an administrative offence according to Article 85 of the Administrative Offences Code, passed in 2008. Selling, cultivation and transport, however, remain illegal and penalized. The illegal purchase or possession of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances in small amounts without the purpose of further distribution, as well as their consumption without a prescription, are sanctioned with a fine of up to three conventional units or with community service of up to 40 hours.


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (often unenforced) Illegal Illegal
Cannabis in Morocco has been illegal since the nation's independence in 1957, reaffirmed by a total ban on drugs in 1974, but is partially tolerated in the country, where it has been cultivated for centuries and is still among the world's top producers of hashish.


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (often unenforced) Illegal Illegal (often unenforced)


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is illegal; in 2007 the government proposed but declined a 20-year jail sentence for any drug possession.


Illegal (legal during Maha Shivaratri) Illegal Illegal
All cannabis licenses canceled in 1973.[4] Despite being illegal, cannabis is cheap and widely available in Nepal, and the police have little-to-no interest in cannabis-related issues.[140]
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal but tolerated in continental part of the Netherlands 'coffeeshops'. In some cities access to these shops is resticted to residents of the Netherlands.[141] Coffeeshops are also unable to legally obtain cannabis, often putting them at risk (this policy is called 'achterdeur-beleid').[142] Posession is decriminalized up to five grams for (in case of a police control it is still confiscated), and for public use. Legal Illegal (decriminalized up to five plants[143]; plants are generally still destroyed. Home growers can be evicted [144] for one single plant[145] or have their mortgage canceled)[146]
Personal possession has been decriminalized since 1976, and cannabis products are only sold openly in certain local "coffeeshops".
[147][148][149]There is a zero tollerance policy in Caribbean parts of the Netherlands.[150]

 New Zealand[edit]

Illegal Limited cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals Illegal
Banned in 1927.[151] Cultivation, possession and sale of cannabis is illegal.[152] Legislation to decriminalize medicinal use was introduced in December 2017, but has yet to pass.[153][154] A planned referendum on legality of cannabis is to be held in the future, tentatively scheduled for 2020.


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal illegal Illegal

 North Korea (DPRK)[edit]

Unknown Unknown Unknown
There are conflicting reports on the legal status of cannabis in North Korea. Multiple reports from defectors and tourists claim there is no law regarding the possession of cannabis (as a result, it is not classified as a drug) in North Korea or if there is, it is mostly unenforced. However, other reports claim that cannabis is illegal.[155]


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal Illegal
Up to fifteen grams is considered an amount for personal use, and is punished with a fine in the case of first-time offenders; possessing more is punished more harshly. In December 2017, the Norwegian Parliament announced its intention to decriminalize certain psychoactive drugs for personal use, including cannabis and provide for medical treatment to users rather than enforce fines and imprisonment.[156]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (but often unenforced, particularly in some tribal regions) Illegal Illegal
The use of cannabis is prohibited in Pakistan, however the smoking of hashish in Peshawar and the northern parts of Pakistan tends to be tolerated. One may be sent to jail for up to six months if found with charas in other parts of the country.[157]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Papua New Guinea[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized up to ten grams) Illegal Illegal
In Paraguay, Law N° 1.340 (Art. 30), exempted from punishment those in possession of a maximum of ten grams of marijuana for personal consumption.[158][159]


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal[160] Illegal

Possession is decriminalized Art. 299 of the Criminal Code. Possession of under eight grams is considered personal use and it is not punished.[161][162][163][164]

Illegal: Cultivation, production or sell is punished with eight to fifteen years in prison.[165][166]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (but sometimes not enforced for small amounts) Legal Illegal
On 26 May 2011, Poland introduced legislation that would give prosecutors the option to not prosecute for possession of small quantities of cannabis for personal use, if it is a first offence, or if the person is drug dependent.[167] The legislation raised the maximum possible penalty for placing a large number of drugs from ten to twelve years in prison. However, for possession of large quantities of drugs would result up to ten years in prison (previously up to eight years).[168]


Illegal (decriminalized up to 25g herb or 5g hashish) Illegal Illegal (decriminalized)
In 2001, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs.[169]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (but often unenforced) Legal Illegal
Romania was (before 1990) a leader in hemp fiber, second only to China. Possession of small quantities of drug preparations is punishable by a large fine for first offenders, six months to two years in prison if the person has been convicted before. Possession of large amounts or trafficking is punishable by two to seven years of jail time.[170] Decriminalization proposed.[171] Medicinal cannabis was legalized in 2013.[172][173]


Illegal (decriminalized for possession of up to six grams) Illegal Illegal (decriminalized), cultivation of up to twenty plants[citation needed]
Possession of under six grams of cannabis or two grams of hashish is an administrative rather than criminal infraction.[174]


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Saint Kitts and Nevis[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Saint Lucia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes

 San Marino[edit]

Illegal Legal Illegal

 São Tomé and Príncipe[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Saudi Arabia[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Use and possession for personal use of any kind of recreational drugs is punishable by imprisonment if caught. Imprisonment for personal use could go up to six months jail time or more. Dealing and smuggling of high amounts of drugs usually result in harsher prison time or even execution, although recently executions are rare. Foreigners who use drugs might be deported.[175]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


illegal [176] Illegal Illegal
Possession is punishable by a fine or by imprisonment of up to three years. Sale and transport are punishable by imprisonment from three to twelve years. Cultivation is punishable by imprisonment from six months to five years. Higher penalties for organized crime.[177]


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Sierra Leone[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis banned in 1920.[178]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Banned in 1870.[179] Cannabis is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making it illegal to cultivate, sell or possess. Those who are caught with 500g of cannabis or more, are presumed as drug traffickers, and are punished with a possible death penalty.[180][181]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Possession or use of small amounts of Cannabis (or only one joint) is punishable by up to eight years in prison.[182][183] In April 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Fico, the incoming Slovak prime minister, might push for partial legalisation of cannabis possession, and has argued for the legalisation of possession of up to three doses of cannabis for personal use.[183]


Illegal (decriminalized) Cannabis-based drugs Legal for quantities with ≤ 0.2 % THC on a ≤ 0.1 ha surface, or ≥ 0.1 ha surface with a governmental permit for cannabis cultivation.[184]
Cannabis-based drugs are legal for medicinal use, but not cannabis itself.[185][186] Possession of any drug for personal use is decriminalized.[187]

 Solomon Islands[edit]

illegal illegal illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 South Africa[edit]

illegal illegal illegal
On 31 March 2017, the Dagga Couple won a landmark ruling in the Western Cape High Court, where they said that the ban on cannabis was unconstitutional, and allowed the dagga couple to take their case on legalizing cannabis to the Constitutional Court. Due to this landmark ruling, so many news outlets have announced that cannabis was legal in South Africa. This is false, and has actually resulted in a spike of arrests as people were freely smoking it.[188][189][190]

 South Korea[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis banned under the Cannabis Control Act of 1976.[191]

 South Sudan[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal


Legal (Private areas only, illegal in public areas (decriminalized), offenders receive an administrative fine.) Possession of more than 70/100gr. (depending on the autonomous community) is considered as possession with the intention of trafficking.[192] Limited cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals Legal (Only for own consumption. If the plants are located somewhere visible from the street/public place, it is an administrative offense[193])
Sale and importation of any quantity of cannabis is a criminal offence, punishable by jail time. The purchase, possession and consumption of cannabis in a public place constitutes a misdemeanour and punishable by a fine and confiscation of the product. Consumption and cultivation by adults in a private space is legal, the latter due to a legal vacuum. Cannabis plants that are located somewhere visible from the street/public place (ie. from balconies) are considered a serious administrative offense, which leads to a fine from 601 to 30.000€.[194][195] About 500 private "cannabis clubs" exist in Spain, 200 of them in Barcelona, and Spain is spoken of as the "new Amsterdam," a destination for marijuana tourists.[196] All actions related to cannabis apart from sale or trade aren't considered criminal offenses,[197] and normally are misdemeanors punishable by a fine.[198]
In June 2017, Catalonia legalized cannabis after the government voted by 118 to 9 to regulate the local cannabis clubs; the cultivation, consumption and distribution of cannabis is now legal for those who are members of designated clubs.[199]

 Sri Lanka[edit]

Illegal Used in some Ayurvedic medicines Illegal
Cannabis is illegal in Sri Lanka though it is commonly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicines.[200]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis was banned in Suriname in the early 20th century, having been popularized there by Asian immigrants.[201]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal
It is illegal to sell, transfer, purchase, use or possess any quantity of cannabis in Sweden. Social stigmatisation through social rejection and exclusion from the labourmarket and social services are the most common sanctions in matters regarding personal use. The national police runs a "disturb and annoy" program aimed at users supported by the national "zero tolerance" policy. .[202][203]


Illegal (decriminalized) Legal for medicinal purposes. Illegal
Since 2012, possession of ten grams or less is decriminalized to a fine.[204]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Under the policies of the government of Bashar al-Assad, many cannabis offences, from simple use to trafficking, reportedly often carried a sentence of life imprisonment. As the country has become destabilized as a result of civil war, people living in areas controlled by Kurdish separatists have begun growing cannabis as a way of making money to fight poverty.[205]

 Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC)[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Cannabis is a schedule 2 narcotic in the ROC, and possession can result in up to three years imprisonment.[206]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (poorly enforced) Illegal Illegal
Criminalized in 1935.[207] According to the Thailand Narcotics Act, B.E. 2522 (1979), possession, cultivation, and transport (import/export) of up to 10 kg cannabis may result in a maximum sentence of half a decade in prison or a fine.[208]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal

 Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Banned in 1925.[209]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Banned in 1953.[210] Using or possessing entails 1–5 years of imprisonment + 1000-3000 dinars (around 500$-1500$).[211][212][213]


Illegal Legal Legal for medical purposes.[214]
The cultivation of marijuana is legal in nineteen provinces in Turkey for medical purposes only. However, with permission this can also be conducted in other provinces too.[215] Consuming any drug (personal use or not) is illegal and requires juridical process. Possessing, purchasing or receiving any illegal drug, including Cannabis, is punishable by one to two years in prison; there is also the option of treatment or probation for up to three years. If users refuse treatment or do not comply with probation requirements, the courts can decide on sentencing.[216] Sale and supply is punishable by a prison term of five to ten years, and production or trafficking by a minimum term of ten years.[216]


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal (decriminalized for possession of up to five grams) Illegal Illegal (decriminalized up to ten plants) [217]

 United Arab Emirates[edit]

Illegal Illegal Illegal
Even the smallest amounts of the drug can lead to a mandatory four-year prison sentence.[218]

 United Kingdom[edit]

Illegal Cannabis-based medicines will be available by autumn 2018 according to a plan announced by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.[219] Illegal
Banned in 1928,[220] made a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971[221]

 United States[edit]

Legal in 9 states, the District of Columbia, and some Indian Reservations – but illegal at federal level. An additional 13 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized.
Legal in 31 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia – but illegal at federal level.[222]
Illegal at federal level, permitted locally in some states allowing recreational or medical use.
Laws vary by state, territory, Indian Reservation, and the District of Columbia. Federal law classifies cannabis as a Schedule I prohibited substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The United States Supreme Court has ruled in Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has the ability to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medicinal purposes. However, individuals acting in accordance with state medical cannabis laws are protected from federal prosecution by the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment. Recognized Indian Reservations are allowed to regulate cannabis for both recreational and medical use under a policy announced by the Justice Department in 2014.[223]


Legal (but buying prohibited for foreigners) Legal for all uses. Legal
(up to six plants)
José Mujica has fully legalized any use of Cannabis in Uruguay; law does not specify quantity for "personal amount".[224] As of 10 December 2013, the House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill legalizing and regulating the production and sale of the drug. The new law says that buyers must be eighteen or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with the authorities. Authorities will grow the cannabis that can be sold legally.[225][226][227]


Illegal Illegal Illegal
Opiates, cannabis and other plants containing psychotropic substances are illegal.[228]


Illegal Illegal Illegal

  Vatican City[edit]

Illegal Illegal Infeasible


Illegal Illegal Illegal
As of 15 September 2010 possession of up to 20 grams of Marijuana or 5 grams of genetically modified Marijuana, if proven not to be for medicinal or personal consumption, is punishable by one to two years in prison at judge's discretion. If deemed to be for personal consumption, the user is subject to security measures involving rehabilitation and detoxification procedures. Articulos 131 y 153 de la Ley Organica de Drogas.[229]


Illegal (often unenforced) Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Illegal


Illegal Illegal Legal if licensed by the Minister of Health; however, no licenses are currently issued


Illegal Legal Illegal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Cultivation Notes

See also[edit]


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