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Legality of cannabis by country: Map


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Main article: Legality of cannabis - it has additional info by country.

This is a list of the legality of cannabis by country.

Legality of cannabis by country

Country Continent/Islands Legal Status Notes
Europe Illegal Cannabis is illegal but growing and usage is widespread. In the last five years there have been fewer than ten prosecutions.
South America Legal
Legal for personal use in small amounts and for consumption only in private locations. Public consumption is generally accepted among the young adults and overlooked by police in the suburbs. Consumption for medical purposes is accepted but not legislated (only in private locations). Cultivating, selling and transporting large amounts is illegal and punishable by present laws.
Australia Illegal
Decriminalized for personal use in small amounts in the Australian Capital Territorymarker, South Australiamarker, Western Australiamarker and the Northern Territorymarker. It is a criminal offence in New South Walesmarker, Queenslandmarker, Victoriamarker and Tasmaniamarker. Enforcement varies from state to state., though a criminal conviction for a small amount is unlikely and diversion programs in these states aim to divert offenders into education, assessment and treatment programs. With the rapid expansion in hydroponically grown cannabis cultivation, the Australian Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985) was amended in 2006, reducing the amount of cannabis grown indoors under hydroponic conditions that qualifies as a 'commercial quantity' or as a 'large quantity'
Europe Illegal Possession (which includes the act of smoking) is punishable by prison time of up to 1 year (option of alternative therapy and subsequent waiving of sentence)
Europe Illegal
For adults in Belgium, consumption in one's home and possession of quantities of up to 3 grams or one female plant is legal.
South America Illegal Possession is illegal.
South America Illegal
The possession of any drug in Brazil, for personal consumption, entails a warning, community service and education on the effects of drug use. The same applies for the planting and/or preparation of small amounts of any drug.
Europe Illegal Cannabis is class A (High-risk) drug, together with heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy. Until 2004 a loosely defined "personal dose" existed. Since 2006, after the last amendment of the Penal Code, the penalty for possession is 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine between 1 000 and 5 000 euro. For possession with an aim of distribution (drug-dealing) the sentence can range from 2 to 8 years for small amounts, through 3 to 12 years for large amounts, up to 5 to 15 years when executed by an organized criminal group. In these cases the maximum fine to be determined together with the prison time is 50 000 euro. Growing is punishable by 2 to 5 years and a fine up to 5 000 euro. The organizer of a growers group can receive from 10 to 20 years and has to pay a fine up to 100 000 euro and a participant in such a group – 3 to 10 years in prison and a fine of 2 500 to 5 000 euro. In minor cases of growing cannabis (for example a few plants grown by a single person and not meant for distribution) the sentence is up to 1 year and a fine between 250 and 500 euro, but the prison term could be replaced by probation. Consumption is not prohibited, as only possession, trafficking or dealing is a crime but handling of a join while smoking can be interpreted as possession. [482927] Bulgarian Penal Code
North America Illegal
(Decriminalized for medical use)
South America Illegal
Cultivation of Cannabis plants other than for personal use is considered illegal without a permit from the Agriculture Ministry. Though consumption and possession in small quantities alone on a private property is legal, consumption by a group of individuals is illegal. Consumption for medical purposes is legal but not regulated.
South America Illegal
Since 1994, cannabis has been decriminalized for possession of small amounts up to 1 gram for personal consumption, however sale and cultivation remains illegal.
Africa Now illegal Cannabis was legal during the Comorian historical period between January 1975 and May 1978, when leftist president Ali Soilih legalized cannabis consumption among other radical measures that still have social repercussions in some islands like Anjouanmarker
Europe Illegal
Possession of small amounts for personal use is legal. Sale and cultivation is illegal.
Europe Illegal
Caribbean Illegal Class B drug to cultivate, sell or possess
South America Illegal Possession illegal. No move to decriminalize.
Europe Illegal Possession illegal.
Europe Illegal Cultivating, selling, owning or consuming cannabis is prohibited.
Europe Illegal
Possession of small amounts of marijuana/hashish was ruled legal by the German Federal Constitutional Courtmarker in 1994.
Europe Illegal There is no distinction in Hungarian law between illicit drugs according to dangers. Heroin use has the same consequences as cannabis use. Hungarian law prohibits the distribution, and any use (including medical use). However the Penal code distinguishes the punishment between sale and personal use. 283. § (1) paragraph (a) states that "One cannot be punished for drug misuse; if a small, personal amount is produced, acquired, or in possession..." and continues to state that "... provided that before final verdict is determined a verification is provided that continuous 6 month therapy has taken place" The law determines that a "personal quantity" is defined as 1 gram of active substance (i.e. THC), therefore this equates to 12-100 grams of marijuana if calculated that marijuana contains 1-8% THC per unit mass. Possession of larger amounts can lead to a 5-10 year prison sentence.
Europe Illegal 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.
Asia Illegal Personal use in small amounts: Maximum sentence of four (4) years in prison (additional fines may apply) if caught by the police in possession, intoxication or by positive urine test. However, if the user voluntarily reports himself/herself to the police, or is reported by his/her family, the sentence shall be no more than 6 months in prison or a fine of not more than Rp 2.000.000 (two million Indonesian Rupiah/USD$200–250).
Asia Illegal/Legal (Regulated by Government) Used during observance of certain Hindu rituals. Government-owned shops in holy cities like Varanasimarker sell cannabis in the form of bhang. Despite the high prevalent usage, the law makes it illegal to possess any form of the drug.
Asia Legal/Illegal Growing cannabis is legal if planted for food purposes as the seeds are eaten by the Iranian people, and companies often draw oil from the seeds which is sold legally. Using cannabis for psychoactive purposes is technically illegal and so smoking it in public is an example of what can be considered an illegal ingestion, but the enforcement of this is next to nothing since it is usually not possible to tell what a person is smoking and since smoking other herbs is tolerated or legal, not much is ever done.
Asia Illegal Very small scale of legal usage of medicinal cannabis.
Caribbean Illegal Cultivation, retail and consumption is illegal. However this is often overlooked and cannabis is sold openly.
Asia Illegal Possession is punishable by up to five years in prison with forced labor
Europe Illegal Possession, transportation and consumption are illegal. Prosecution depends on the amount of cannabis one possesses. Since 2001, prison penalty has been substituted by a monetary fine ranging from 250 to 2500 Euros.
Europe Illegal
If one possesses a larger amount, a jail sentence of anywhere from three months to five years could possibly be given.
Asia Illegal Malaysian legislation provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Individuals arrested in possession of 15 grams (1/2 ounce) of heroin or 200 grams (seven ounces) of marijuana are presumed by law to be trafficking in drugs.
North America Illegal
Mexico has recently decriminalized small quantities of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and LSD for personal use.
Europe Illegal
(Decriminalized, sold openly in certain area coffee shops)

de facto decriminalized
Oceania Illegal Cannabis is scheduled as a Class C substance. Cultivation, possession or sale of cannabis is illegal.
Europe Illegal Up to 15 grams is considered an amount for personal use, and is punished with a fine of 1500-5000 kroner in the case of first-time offenders; possessing more is considered dealing and punished more harshly. Repeat offenders or dealers face prison charges.
Asia Legal/Illegal Laws prohibiting the sale and misuse of cannabis exist, but are very rarely enforced. As with hash, the occasional use of cannabis in community gatherings is broadly tolerated as a centuries old custom, despite its association with lower-income groups. The open use of cannabis by Sufis and Hindus as a means to induce euphoria has never been challenged by the state. Further, large tracts of cannabis grow unchecked in the wild.
South America Illegal
South America Legal (under certain conditions) Possession of up to 8 grams (0.28 oz) of marijuana is legal as long as one isn't in possession of another drug.
Europe Illegal Possession leads to criminal prosecution even for very small quantities, like fractions of gram. The Polish government in June 2005 began offering rehabilitation services in place of jail time.
Europe Illegal
Caribbean Illegal See United States
Europe Illegal Possession of small quantities is punishable by a small fine of about $150–200 USD. Possession of large amounts may result in 3–6 years of jail time, and sale may result in more than 6 years jail time. Decriminalization proposed.
Eurasia Legal (in small quantities) In 2003, possession of up to 20 g of marijuana, as well as small quantities of many other drugs, ceased to be a criminal offence. Since 2006, this "legal" amount was lowered to 6 g.
Asia Illegal Use and possession for personal use of any kind of drugs is punishable by imprisonment if caught. Imprisonment for personal use could go up to 6 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.
Europe Illegal [482928]
Asia Illegal Cannabis is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making it illegal to cultivate, sell, or possess.
Asia Illegal Cannabis is illegal in Sri Lanka though it is commonly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicines.
Europe Illegal It is illegal to sell, transfer, purchase, use or possess any quantity of cannabis. Fines are the most common sanction in matters regarding personal use.
Europe Illegal Tolerated in small amounts for personal use at home.
(Taiwan) Asia Illegal Cannabis is a schedule 2 narcotic in the ROC, and possession can result in up to 3 years imprisonment.
Asia Illegal Even the smallest amounts of the drug can lead to a mandatory four year prison sentence.
Europe Illegal Cannabis is an illegal, Class B drug in the UK.
North America Illegal Laws vary by state, though state law is superseded by federal law which classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance, the same classification as heroin and LSD. The United States Supreme Courtmarker has ruled in Gonzales v. Raich that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, even for medical purposes. In 2009 the Attorney General directed federal prosecutors to back away from medical marijuana patients in those states with local laws legalizing medical use.
South America Legal/Illegal "Possession for personal use not penalized; law does not specify quantity for "personal amount."
South America Illegal
"Possession of up to 20 grams not punished; users must go through drug treatment program."
Asia Illegal

See also


  1. Everyone does it
  3. NCPIC Cannabis and the Law Factsheet
  4. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Belgium
  5. Erowid Cannabis South American laws, March 1995
  6. Law 11.343
  7. Law No. 20.000 Active since 2005.
  8. [1], dosis minima en colombia no puede ser penalizada.
  9. Dossiers sur les 30 Chefs d'Etat ou de Gouvernements tués
  10. Transition, 73 - The Mercenary Position
  11. The Guardian, Another day, another coup
  14. Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, Chapter 40:07
  16. code de la santé publique
  17. "Use of Drugs Is Legalized By Colombia", Joseph B. Treaster, New York Times, 7 May 1994, webpage: NYTimes-Legalized-Colombia.
  19. Drug Abuse Sanctions and Prohibition (Indonesian language)
  21. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Israel
  22. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Jamaica
  24. Excerpt of the "Mémorial A" of the Luxembourgish legislation Art. 7 and Art. 8 refer to the usage of narcotics
  25. European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies
  26. [2]
  27. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - New Zealand
  28. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Pakistan/Peshawar
  30. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Poland
  31. BBC Portugal legalises drug use
  32. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Romania
  34. Erowid Cannabid legal status vault - Russia
  36. US Department of State - International Travel - Saudi Arabia
  37. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Singapore
  39. UNODC: Sweden’s successful drug policy, 2007
  40. RättsPM 2009:1, Åklagarmyndighetens Utvecklngscentrum, 2009 a memo from the Deputy General prosecutor, published only in Swedish
  41. SR 812.121 Art. 19b
  42. Erowid Cannabis legal status vault - Taiwan
  43. BBC News - UAE Drug Laws (Feb 2008)
  45. Erowid Cannabis South American laws,March 1995

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