Legality of cannabis

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 three United Nations treaties: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.[1][2] Since its descheduling in 2020, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Single Convention treaty, meaning that signatories can allow medical use but that it is considered to be an addictive drug with a serious risk of abuse.[3][4]

Map of world cannabis laws for non-medical use
Legal status of cannabis possession for recreational use
  Illegal but decriminalized
  Illegal but often unenforced
  Legality unknown
Map of world cannabis laws for medical use
Legal status of cannabis for medical use
  Legal for recreational use
  Legal for medical use
  Illegal or unknown

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 punished by imprisonment for several years.[5] Countries that have legalized recreational use of cannabis are Canada, Georgia, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, and Uruguay, plus 21 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia in the United States and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. Commercial sale of recreational cannabis is legalized nationwide in three countries (Canada, Thailand, and Uruguay) and in all subnational U.S. jurisdictions that have legalized possession except Washington, D.C. A policy of limited enforcement has also been adopted in many countries, in particular the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis is tolerated at licensed coffeeshops.[6]

Countries that have legalized medical use of cannabis include Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Others have more restrictive laws that allow only the use of certain cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals, such as Sativex, Marinol, or Epidiolex.[7] In the United States, 37 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of cannabis, but at the federal level its use remains prohibited.[8]

Legalization timelineEdit

Countries with legalized recreational cannabis
Country Effective date Licensed sales since
  Uruguay December 2013 July 2017
  Georgia July 30, 2018 Never authorized
  South Africa September 18, 2018 Never authorized
  Canada October 17, 2018 October 17, 2018
  Mexico June 28, 2021 Never authorized
  Malta December 14, 2021 Never authorized
  Thailand June 9, 2022 June 9, 2022

By countryEdit

Country/Territory Recreational Medical Notes
  Afghanistan Illegal Illegal Production banned by King Zahir Shah in 1973.[9]
  Albania Illegal Illegal Prohibited but plants highly available throughout the country and law often unenforced.[10][11][12]
  Algeria Illegal Illegal
  Andorra Illegal Illegal
  Angola Illegal Illegal
  Antigua and Barbuda Decriminalized Illegal
  Argentina Decriminalized Legal Decriminalized for small amounts and private consumption, as ruled by the Supreme Court in 2009.[13] Medicinal cannabis legal nationally since 21 September 2017.[14]
  Armenia Illegal Illegal
  Australia Decriminalized in Northern Territory and South Australia.[15][16] Legal in Australian Capital Territory for personal use but not for sale. Legal at federal level and in all states.[17] Qualifying conditions and other details vary by state.[18] In September 2019, the Australian Capital Territory became the first state or territory of Australia to legalize recreational use of cannabis. Since 31 January 2020 residents have been allowed to grow two plants and possess 50 g, though sales or other transfer is prohibited, including cannabis seeds. Federal law also remains enforceable.[19]
  Austria Possession for personal use decriminalized as of January 2016. Dronabinol, Sativex, Nabilone[20]
  Azerbaijan Illegal Illegal
  Bahamas Illegal Illegal
  Bahrain Illegal Illegal
  Bangladesh Illegal but often unenforced Illegal Sale banned in 1989,[21] but laws are rarely enforced and cannabis is openly sold in many parts of the country.[22][23]
  Barbados Legal for spiritual use by registered Rastafarians[24] Legal[25]
  Belarus Illegal Illegal
  Belgium Decriminalized up to 3 g or cultivation of one plant Sativex[26] Up to 3 g decriminalized for adults since 2003.[27][28]
  Belize Decriminalized up to 10 g Illegal Possession prohibited, but use is common and largely tolerated.[29] Laws decriminalizing possession of up to 10 g "in the works".[30]
  Benin Illegal Illegal
  Bermuda Decriminalized up to 7 g Legal In November 2016, the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled in favor of allowing the medical use of cannabis.[31] As of July 2018, two doctors have been licensed to prescribe the drug.[32]
  Bhutan Illegal Illegal Illegal, but plants grow prolifically and have multiple traditional uses, such as feeding pigs and producing textiles.[33]
  Bolivia Decriminalized up to 50 g Illegal
  Bosnia and Herzegovina Illegal Illegal In 2016, the Ministry of Civil Affairs formed a task force to explore the legalization of cannabis and cannabinoids for medicinal purposes.[34]
  Botswana Illegal Illegal Cannabis (or dagga) is illegal.[35]
  Brazil Illegal Legal for terminally ill patients or those who have exhausted other treatment options.[36][37] Legislation passed in 2006 to require treatment and community service for possessing small amounts of drugs instead of jail time.[38] Possession of large amounts, as well as sale, transportation, and cultivation, are considered drug trafficking.[39]
  Brunei Illegal Illegal
  Bulgaria 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.[40]
  Burkina Faso Illegal Illegal
  Burundi Illegal Illegal
  Cambodia Illegal but often unenforced Illegal Illegal,[41] but this prohibition is lax and enforced opportunistically.[42][43][44] "Happy" restaurants in cities publicly offer food cooked with marijuana, or as a side garnish.[45]
  Cameroon Illegal Illegal
  Canada Legal Legal Legal for medicinal purposes since 2001 and for recreational purposes since 17 October 2018. The age to buy or consume cannabis is 19 in most of the country, with the exceptions being Alberta (age 18) and Quebec (age 21).[46]
  Cape Verde Illegal Illegal
  Central African Republic Illegal Illegal
  Chad Illegal Illegal
  Chile Decriminalized for possession and cultivation Legal Private personal use[47] and recreational cultivation[48][49][50] decriminalized. Medicinal cultivation legal with the authorization of The Chilean Agriculture Service (SAG)[51] and sale of medication allowed on prescription in pharmacies.[52]
  People's Republic of China (PRC) Illegal Illegal Penalty for possession or consumption: 10–15 days' detention without prosecution and a fine.[53]
  Colombia Decriminalized up to 22 g or cultivation of 20 plants for personal use Legal Decriminalized up to 22 g for personal consumption. Individuals carrying greater amounts, or cultivating up to 20 plants, cannot be prosecuted if the drug is for personal use.[54][55][56][57]
  Comoros 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.[58][59]
  Cook Islands Illegal Illegal A non-binding referendum was voted on in August 2022 asking "Should we review our cannabis laws to allow for research and medicinal use?" The result was 62% voted yes.[60]
  Democratic Republic of the Congo Illegal Illegal
  Republic of the Congo Illegal Illegal
  Costa Rica Decriminalized[61][62] Legal[63] Decriminalized since police officers do not detain people for personal use, yet no amount has been defined as a minimum for possession. Use of cannabis is widespread throughout the country.[61][62]
  Croatia Decriminalized[64] Legal[65] Possession of small amounts considered a misdemeanor which leads to fine. Medicinal cannabis legal for patients with illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS.[65]
  Cuba Illegal Illegal
  Cyprus Illegal Legal[66] Class B substance – life imprisonment is possible for use and maximum 8 years for possession (at the maximum 2 years for the first offense for people under 25).[67]
  Czech Republic Decriminalized up to 10 g or cultivation of 5 plants[68] Legal Possession of up to 10 g or cultivation of up to 5 plants is an infraction subject to a minor fine – mostly not enforced. Medicinal use legal and regulated since 2013.[69][70]
  Denmark Illegal Legal (4-year pilot program launched in January 2018 and was extended an additional 4 years)[71][72] As with all drugs, cannabis-related offenses are punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years.[73] Freetown Christiania, a self-declared autonomous community in Copenhagen, is known for its cannabis trade.[74]
  Djibouti Illegal Illegal
  Dominica Decriminalized up to 1 oz (28 grams)[75] Illegal
  Dominican Republic Illegal Illegal
  East Timor Illegal Illegal
  Ecuador Decriminalized up to 10 g Legal[76] Possession of small amounts decriminalized.[77][78][79]
  Egypt Illegal but often unenforced Illegal Illegal since 1925[80] but use is widespread. Convictions for personal use are rare.[81] Formerly a plant of high status with several documented medicinal uses in ancient times.
  El Salvador Illegal Illegal
  Equatorial Guinea Illegal Illegal
  Eritrea Illegal Illegal
  Estonia Decriminalized With a special permit[82] Up to 7.5 g is considered an amount for personal use, and is punished with a fine. Large amounts and distribution are criminal offenses punishable with a custodial sentence of up to 5 years.[83]
  Eswatini (Swaziland) Illegal Illegal
  Ethiopia Illegal Illegal Despite being the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari movement, possession of cannabis can result in up to six months imprisonment.[84]
  Fiji Illegal Illegal
  Finland Illegal but sometimes not enforced Legal under license. Personal use is generally not prosecuted in court but subject to summary fine. Medicinal cannabis possible under a special license since 2006; in 2014, 223 licenses were issued.[85]
  France Illegal, but on-the-spot fines are usually issued in place of prosecution A two-year trial program involving 3,000 patients underway[86] Possession up to 100 g entails a 200€ fine since November 2018,[87] although a judge is still legally able to pronounce a stricter sentence.[88] Medical use of some cannabinoid drugs legalized in 2013.[89][90]
  Gabon Illegal Illegal
  Gambia Illegal Illegal
  Georgia Legal for possession and consumption but not for sale, per a July 2018 ruling by the Constitutional Court of Georgia.[91][92] Use is legal, but no system for the dispensing of cannabis exists.
  Germany Illegal, but may not be prosecuted if possession is in small quantities and for personal use.[93][94][95] Legal for seriously ill patients who have consulted with a doctor and have absolutely no therapeutic alternative.[96][97] Under federal law, prosecution is optional for possession of "small amounts" of any narcotics, if there is no public interest in the offense and the narcotics were only intended for the offender's own use.[95] The German government intends to make it legal for adults to purchase and possess up to 30 g of cannabis for recreational use and to grow up to three plants personally.[98]
  Ghana Illegal Legal only for THC less than 0.3%[99][100]
  Greece Illegal Legal
  Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat) Illegal Illegal
  Grenada Illegal Illegal
  Guatemala Illegal Illegal In 2016 a constitutional commission rejected proposals to legalize medicinal or recreational use of cannabis.[101][102]
  Guinea Illegal Illegal
  Guinea-Bissau Illegal Illegal
  Guyana Illegal Illegal Possession of 15 g or over can result in charges of drug trafficking.[103]
  Haiti Illegal Illegal
  Honduras Illegal Illegal The possession, sale, transportation, and cultivation of cannabis is illegal.[104]
  Hong Kong Illegal Illegal Possession, sale, transportation, and cultivation illegal under the Dangerous Drug Ordinance.[105] (Chapter 134 of the Law of Hong Kong)
  Hungary 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.[106]
  Iceland Illegal Illegal Banned in 1969.[107] Possession of small amounts is subject to arrest and fine but no threat of jail time.[108]
  India Illegal, but exception is made for the use of bhang.[109] CBD oil legal, less than 0.3% THC[110] Albeit illegal, usage is prevalent and some government-owned shops sell cannabis in the form of bhang. States have their own laws regarding cannabis, locally known as ganja.
  Indonesia Illegal Illegal Banned in 1927.[111] Minimum sentence of 4 years in prison (additional fines may apply) if caught dealing / distributing. Rehabilitation or maximum sentence of 4 years if caught in possession alone.[112][113]
  Iran Illegal, but not strictly enforced Illegal Maximum of capital punishment to possess hashish over 5 kilograms[114] but unenforced.[115]
  Iraq Illegal Illegal
  Ireland Illegal[116] Legal as part of 5-year pilot program enacted in June 2019[117][118] The National Drugs Strategy of 2009–2016 did not favor decriminalizing cannabis.[119] A new strategy was planned for 2017.[120] Cannabis-derived medicines may be licensed since 2014.[121][122] A review of policy on medicinal cannabis was announced in November 2016,[123] and a private member's bill to legalize it passed second stage in the Dáil in December 2016.[124][125][126]
  Israel Decriminalized Legal As of April 2019, public possession of small amounts is a non-criminal offense punished by escalating fines. A third offense can result in criminal charges, however. Possession in the privacy of one's home is not punished.[127]
  Italy Possession decriminalized; home cultivation legal in small amounts for personal use.[128] Legal Possession of small amounts for personal use is a misdemeanor subject to fines and the suspension of documents (passports or driver's licenses). Sale is punishable by imprisonment, even if in small amounts. Licensed cultivation for medicinal and industrial use strictly regulated.[129]
  Ivory Coast Illegal Illegal
  Jamaica Decriminalized up to 2 oz (57 grams) or cultivation of 5 plants. Legal for Rastafari. Legal Decriminalized since 2015, and in 2018 the first medical cannabis dispensary opened.[130]
  Japan Illegal CBD only[131][132] Restricted in 1948.[133] Use and possession are punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine. Cultivation, sale, and transport are punishable by 7–10 years imprisonment and a fine.[134]
  Jordan Illegal Illegal
  Kazakhstan Illegal Illegal
  Kenya Illegal Illegal
  Kiribati Illegal Illegal
  Korea, North (DPRK) 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.[135]
  Korea, South Illegal Access limited to Epidiolex, Marinol and Sativex as of now due to the policy implemented by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety[136] Medical use of cannabis was legalized in November 2018. The plant itself, however, remains unavailable due to the policy made by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.[137]
  Kosovo Illegal Illegal
  Kuwait Illegal Illegal
  Kyrgyzstan Illegal Illegal
  Laos Illegal but often unenforced Illegal
  Latvia Illegal[138] Illegal Possession of up to 1 g can result in a €280 fine; for second offenses within a year period, criminal charges are applied. Larger quantities can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
  Lebanon Illegal Legal Hashish banned in 1926;[139] cultivation banned in 1992.[140] Large amounts of cannabis are still grown within the country illicitly, however.[141] Cultivation of cannabis for medical use was legalized in April 2020.[142]
  Lesotho Illegal but tolerated Illegal Licensed cultivation allowed for export to other countries. Also widely grown for illicit purposes.[143][144]
  Liberia Illegal Illegal
  Libya Illegal Illegal
  Liechtenstein Illegal Illegal
  Lithuania Illegal Illegal Medical cannabis is illegal in Lithuania, but a law allowing seriously ill patients to use drugs made from synthetic cannabinoids was passed by the Seimas on 11 October 2018.
  Luxembourg Decriminalized Legal Transportation and consumption are illegal. Decriminalized since 2001, with prison penalty replaced by a monetary fine ranging from €250 to €2,500.[145][146] In October 2021, the government announced plans to legalise growing up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use.[147]
  Macau, SAR of China Illegal Illegal
  Madagascar Illegal Illegal
  Malawi Illegal Legal[148] Illegal but widely used and cultivated; Malawian cannabis is famed internationally for its quality.[149] Chamba is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu.[150]
  Malaysia Illegal Illegal Mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers, legally defined as individuals possessing more than 200 g (7 oz) of cannabis.[151]
  Maldives Illegal Illegal
  Mali Illegal Illegal
  Malta Legal for possession, consumption, and cultivation. Distribution is allowed through non-profit cannabis clubs. Legal On 30 March 2021, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced a proposal to legalize possession of up to 7 grams and the cultivation of up to 4 plants, and for people charged with possession in the past to have it expunged from their criminal records.[152] In December 2021, legislation was passed by the Maltese Parliamant and signed into law by President George Vella.[153][154]
  Marshall Islands Illegal Illegal
  Mauritania Illegal Illegal
  Mauritius Illegal Illegal
  Mexico Legal for possession, consumption, and cultivation with a permit, but not for sale.[155] Use is legal, but no system for the dispensing of cannabis exists. Possession of 5 g was decriminalized in 2009.[156] In 2015 the Supreme Court voted 4–1 that prohibiting people from growing the drug for personal use was unconstitutional.[157] In 2018 the Supreme Court reaffirmed the ruling and requested that the legislature update the country's laws regarding cannabis.[158][159] After the legislature failed to act, the Supreme Court in 2021 invalidated laws regarding the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis.[155]
  Micronesia Illegal Illegal
  Moldova Decriminalized Illegal
  Monaco Illegal Illegal
  Mongolia Illegal Illegal
  Montenegro Illegal Illegal
  Morocco Illegal but often unenforced Legal[160][161] Morocco is among the world's top producers of hashish.
  Mozambique Illegal Illegal
  Myanmar Illegal but often unenforced Illegal
  Namibia Illegal Illegal Cannabis is illegal; in 2007 the government proposed but declined a 20-year jail sentence for any drug possession.
  Nauru Illegal Illegal
    Nepal Illegal,[162] but allowed during Maha Shivaratri[163] Illegal All cannabis licenses canceled in 1973.[9]
  Netherlands Consumption and sale are tolerated in licensed coffeeshops.[6] Possession of up to 5 g is decriminalized. Cultivation of up to 5 plants is unenforced for non-commercial use (unless grown in a professional setup). Legal Personal possession decriminalized and sale allowed only in certain licensed coffeeshops in the continental Netherlands.[164][165][166] Cultivation often tolerated but growers can still have their plants and equipment confiscated[167] and face eviction[168] or cancellation of their mortgage[169] for one single plant.[170] Zero tolerance policy in the Caribbean Netherlands.[171]
  New Zealand Illegal Legal Banned in 1927.[172] Possession over 28 g is presumed for supply. Medical use was legalized in 2018.[173] In 2020, a referendum to legalize recreational use failed by a 50.7% to 48.4% margin.[174]
  Nicaragua Illegal Illegal
  Niger Illegal Illegal
  Nigeria Illegal Illegal
  North Macedonia Illegal Legal If one possesses large amounts, a jail sentence of anywhere from 3 months to 5 years may be given.[175] Medicinal cannabis legalized since 2016.[176]
  Norway Illegal Legal[177][178] Illegal since 1965. As of 2022, use and possession of up to 15 grams are punished with heavy fines and possible loss of driver's license.[179][180][181] Solberg's Cabinet proposed a decriminalization bill in 2021 that would remove all sanctions for illegal drug use, including possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis. Six parties (43,8%) voted for, while three parties (56,2%) voted against. As a result, the bill did not pass the parliament.[182][183]
  Oman Illegal Illegal
  Pakistan Illegal, but often unenforced (particularly in some tribal regions) CBD only[184] Prohibited, but 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.[185] CBD legalized by cabinet announcement in September 2020.[184]
  Palau Illegal Illegal
  Panama Illegal Legal[186][187]
  Papua New Guinea Illegal Illegal
  Paraguay Decriminalized up to 10 g Illegal The possession of up to 10 g of cannabis is not punishable.[188][189]
  Peru Decriminalized Legal[190] Possession of up to 8 g is not punished.[191][192][193][194] Cultivation, production, and sale are punished with 8–15 years in prison.[195][196]
  Philippines Illegal Illegal but may be allowed with special permit Medical use of cannabis is possible with a special permit from the Food and Drugs Authority for use by individuals with serious or terminal illness.[197]
  Poland Illegal, but may not be enforced for small amounts, legal below 0.3% THC Legal Since 2011, prosecutors can choose not to prosecute possession of small quantities of cannabis for personal use if it is a first offense or if the person is drug dependent.[198] Possession of large quantities of drugs can result in up to 10 years in prison.[199]
  Portugal Decriminalized up to 25 g of herb or 5 g of hashish Legal In 2001, Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalize the use of all drugs.[200]
  Qatar Illegal Illegal
  Romania Illegal Cannabis-derived drugs less than 0.2% THC can be prescribed Small quantities punishable by a large fine for first offenders or 6 months to 2 years in prison if the person has been convicted before. Possession of large amounts or trafficking is punishable by 2–7 years of jail time.[201] Decriminalization proposed.[202] Limited medical use approved in 2013.[203][204]
  Russia Illegal Illegal Possession of up to 6 g of cannabis (or 2 g of hashish) is an administrative offense, punishable by a fine of 5,000 or detention of up to 15 days. Possession of larger amounts is a criminal offense. Foreign nationals and stateless individuals who violate the law are subject to deportation regardless of the amount.[205]
  Rwanda Illegal Legal[206]
  Saint Kitts and Nevis Decriminalized up to 15 g Illegal
  Saint Lucia Decriminalized up to 30 g[207] Illegal
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Decriminalized up to 2 oz (57 grams)[208] Legal[209][210][211]
  Samoa Illegal Illegal
  San Marino Illegal Legal
  São Tomé and Príncipe Illegal Illegal
  Saudi Arabia Illegal Illegal Use and possession for personal use of any kind of recreational drugs is punishable by imprisonment if caught. Imprisonment for personal use can entail jail time of six months or more. Dealing and smuggling high amounts of drugs usually result in harsher prison time or even execution, although recently executions have been rare. Foreigners who use drugs might be deported.[212]
  Senegal Illegal Illegal
  Serbia Illegal[213] Illegal Possession punishable by fine or imprisonment of up to 3 years. Sale and transportation punishable by imprisonment of 3–12 years. Cultivation punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years. Higher penalties for organized crime.[214]
  Seychelles Illegal Illegal
  Sierra Leone Illegal Illegal Cannabis banned in 1920.[215]
  Singapore Illegal CBD only Banned in 1870.[216] 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 considered drug traffickers and are punished with a possible death penalty.[217][218] In rare cases, permission has been granted to use cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals for treatment of epilepsy.[219]
  Slovakia Illegal CBD only Possession of small amounts punishable by up to 8 years in prison.[220][221] In April 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Fico, the incoming Slovak prime minister, might push for partial legalization of cannabis possession, and has argued for the legalization of possession of up to three doses of cannabis for personal use.[221]
  Slovenia Decriminalized Sativex, Marinol, CBD[222] Cannabis-based drugs are legal for medicinal use, but not cannabis itself.[223][224] Possession of any drug for personal use is decriminalized.[225]
  Solomon Islands Illegal Illegal
  Somalia Illegal Illegal
  South Africa Legal for possession, cultivation and use in private places but not for sale. Use is legal, but no system for the dispensing of medicinal cannabis exists. Private use and cultivation have been legal since September 2018.[226][227][228][229]
  South Sudan Illegal Illegal
  Spain Decriminalized. Use and possession in private areas allowed for own consumption.[230] Public possession or consumption can result in a fine.[231] Cultivation for personal use allowed in private areas including Cannabis Social Clubs.[230] Legal[232][233][234] All actions related to cannabis for own consumption aren't considered criminal offenses,[235] but misdemeanors punishable by a fine.[236] Cannabis trafficking, including sale, import, or cultivation for sale, is punishable by jail time. Legalized in Catalonia in 2017,[237] but that law was challenged by the state and declared unconstitutional.[238] Cultivation in private areas for own consumption is allowed if the plants cannot be seen from the street or other public spaces.[239]
  Sri Lanka Illegal Legalized by amendment made in colonial law by 1980s and through the Ayurveda Act.[240] The sale of cannabis is decriminalized for traditional medicine vendors and it is commonly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicines.[241]
  Sudan Illegal Illegal
  Suriname Illegal Illegal Cannabis was banned in Suriname in the early 20th century, having been popularized there by Asian immigrants.[242]
  Sweden Illegal Legal under limited circumstances for patients who obtain a license.[243] All cannabis-related activity illegal. The national police runs a "disturb and annoy" program aimed at users supported by the national "zero tolerance" policy.[244][245]
  Switzerland Decriminalized. Legal below 1.0% THC. Legal Since 2012, possession of 10 g or less is decriminalized to a fine.[246]
  Syria Illegal, widely unenforced since the start of the Syrian civil war Illegal, widely unenforced since the start of the Syrian civil war If someone is considered an addict by the Syrian government then they face no criminal penalties for drug possession.[247]
  Taiwan Illegal Illegal Cannabis is a schedule 2 narcotic in the ROC, and possession can result in up to 3 years imprisonment.[248]
  Tajikistan Illegal Illegal
  Tanzania Illegal Illegal
  Thailand Legal for possession, sale, and home cultivation. 0.2% THC limit applies to processed products such as oils and edibles, but not the cannabis plant.[249][250][251] Legal Criminalized in 1935, medical use legalized in 2018, and recreational use legalized in 2022. Import and export of cannabis are still highly regulated. Cannabis smoking in public areas is prohibited.[252][253]
  Togo Illegal Illegal
  Tonga Illegal Illegal
  Trinidad and Tobago Decriminalized up to 30 g, cultivation of 4 plants per adult Illegal Banned in 1925.[254] Decriminalized in 2019.[255]
  Tunisia Illegal Illegal Banned in 1953.[256] Using or possessing entails 1–5 years of imprisonment and 1000–3000 dinars (around $500–1500).[257][258][259]
  Turkey Illegal Sativex Medical cultivation legal in 19 provinces.[260] With permission, this can also be conducted in other provinces as well.[261] Consuming any drug is illegal and requires juridical process. Possessing, purchasing, or receiving any illegal drug is punishable by 1–2 years of prison, treatment, or probation.[262] Sale and supply is punishable by a prison term of 5–10 years, and production or trafficking by a minimum term of 10 years.[262]
  Turkmenistan Illegal Illegal
  Tuvalu Illegal Illegal
  Uganda Illegal Illegal
  Ukraine Illegal Limited to Dronabinol and Nabiximols Possession of up to 5 g or cultivation of 10 plants is an administrative (rather than a criminal) offense, but detention of up to 15 days is still possible.[263] In 2021, some THC- and CBD-containing drugs were approved for medical use.[264]
  United Arab Emirates Illegal Illegal Even the smallest amounts of the drug can lead to a mandatory 4-year prison sentence.[265]
  United Kingdom Illegal, but a cannabis warning or an on-the-spot fine ("Penalty Notice for Disorder") may be issued for simple possession instead of prosecution.[266] Cannabis-derived medicines are legal only when prescribed by a specialist consultant.[267] Banned in 1928.[268] Made a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.[269] Limited medical use has been legal since 1 November 2018.[270] Cannabis-derived medicines are only legal when prescribed by a specialist consultant and GPs are not allowed to prescribe cannabis-derived medicines. NHS guidance states that medical cannabis should only be prescribed when there is clear published evidence of its benefit and other treatment options have been exhausted.[267]
  United States Legalized in 21 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia – but illegal at federal level. Decriminalized in another 10 states. Legalized in 37 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia – but illegal at federal level.[8]
Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug at federal level, prohibiting even its medical use. The Rohrabacher–Farr amendment prevents federal enforcement in states that have legalized medical, however. No such protections exist regarding recreational, but the federal government has so far generally not intervened. Recognized Indian reservations are allowed to legalize for either use under a policy announced in 2014.[271]
  Uruguay Legal, but buying prohibited for foreigners. Cultivation allowed up to six plants. Cannabis Social Clubs authorized up to 45 members Legal for all uses. Legal since late 2013.[272] Buyers must be eighteen or older, residents of Uruguay, and must register with the authorities. Authorities grow the cannabis that can be sold legally.[273][274][275] Non-profit Cannabis Clubs can also operate.[276]
  Uzbekistan Illegal Illegal Opiates, cannabis and other plants containing psychotropic substances are illegal.[277]
  Vanuatu Illegal Legal
   Vatican City Illegal Illegal
  Venezuela Illegal Illegal Possession of up to 20 g of marijuana or 5 g of genetically modified marijuana for commercial purposes is punishable by 1–2 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.[278]
  Vietnam Illegal Illegal
  Yemen Illegal Illegal
  Zambia Illegal Legal
  Zimbabwe Illegal Legal
Country/Territory Recreational Medical Notes

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Habibi, Roojin; Hoffman, Steven J. (March 2018). "Legalizing Cannabis Violates the UN Drug Control Treaties, But Progressive Countries Like Canada Have Options". Ottawa Law Review. 49 (2). Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. ^ Bewley-Taylor, David; Jelsma, Martin; Rolles, Steve; Walsh, John (June 2016), Cannabis regulation and the UN drug treaties (PDF), retrieved 22 July 2018
  3. ^ "Classification of controlled drugs". European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  4. ^ Kwai, Isabella (2 December 2020). "U.N. Reclassifies Cannabis as a Less Dangerous Drug". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  5. ^ Powell, Burgess (24 February 2018). "The 7 Countries with the Strictest Weed Laws". High Times. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
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