Is Weed Legal in my Country? – International Marijuana Laws 2021

Each country around the world has its own unique stance on the legality of cannabis and marijuana derived products. Some countries have fully legalized the substance, whereas some have outlawed it completely, with those in violation of the law facing severe punishment. Of course, there’s also a lot of grey areas around the globe concerning the substance: it can be decriminalized under certain circumstances, or have a general lack of enforcement.

Below, we have listed the current status of weed in each country around the world in terms of its legality and availability in the market. 

Afghanistan

Although cannabis is illegal in Afghanistan, the United Nations reported this country as being the world’s top cannabis producer as of 2010. It has been grown there for centuries and didn’t face any issues until the 1970s, where it came under the political spotlight. Backed by US military funding, King Zahir Shah outlawed the production of cannabis, opium, and poppy. 

Albania

Cannabis is illegal in Albania for recreational and medical use, although it is still widely cultivated. Trafficking became a concern for this country in the 90s, given how the amounts grown could easily supply the whole country, as well as others near it. In recent years, the Albanian government has begun to crack down on cannabis cultivation and is trying to establish an effective anti-drug strategy. 

Algeria

Cannabis is illegal in Algeria, although it is widely consumed. This country played a major part in the spread of cannabis to France, given how it was occupied by the country in 1830.

Andorra

Cannabis is illegal in Andorra under any circumstances. Punishment for the possession of the substance can be fines of up to double the value of the cannabis, or up to 2 years of prison time.

Antigua and Barbuda

Cannabis is still illegal in this country, but it is decriminalized. In 2018, through an amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act, the possession of 15 grams (maximum) of cannabis or cannabis concentrates would  have no legal penalty. Selling the substance is still illegal, and no protections were put into place for those caught distributing or cultivating the substance. 

Argentina

As of 2009, cannabis in small amounts has been decriminalized and can be used in private spaces. Medical use is widely accepted, although still needs to be done in private spaces such as one’s home. CBD cannabis oil was approved for use in 2017, and steps towards a medical cannabis program were taken in 2020. 

Armenia

Cannabis is illegal in Armenia under any circumstance, with possession charges leading to possible fines and an average jail time of 2 months. Drug use in this country is relatively low, with cannabis and cannabis oils making up the majority of illegal substances in the country. 

Australia

Cannabis is legal in Australia for recreational, medical, and industrial purposes. In 2016, cannabis was legalized at the federal level for scientific and medicinal purposes. In 2020, it was made so that citizens can possess and grow small amounts of cannabis for personal use. The use of cannabis is fairly prevalent in this country, with more and more people supporting the user of this substance over time. 

Austria

Cannabis is legal for scientific and medical use, but still illegal for recreational use. In 2016, it was made so that the possession of small amounts was decriminalized. The sale of cannabis seeds and plants is legal and fairly common. 

Bahamas

Cannabis is illegal in the Bahamas and anyone in violation of the law is subject to relatively harsh penalties. Anyone convicted of possession faces up to a $125K fine and 10 years in prison if unable to pay. As of 2020, some members of the government have expressed support in legalizing medical marijuana, but there has yet to be any progress. 

Bangladesh

Due to pressure from US president Ronald Reagan, cannabis was made illegal under all circumstances during the early 1980s. Enforcement was initially fairly lax, but has gotten more harsh in the recent past. Under the Narcotics Control Act of 1990, the death penality can be imposed for the possession of above 2 Kg of cannabis. 

Barbados

Cannabis is legal for medical use since 2019, although recreational use is still prohibited. Although this is the case, registered Rastafarians are able to use cannabis as a spiritual practice. Cannabis in this country is sourced from Jamaica for the most part and imported. 

Belarus

Cannabis is illegal here in all circumstances. For awhile, the cultivation of cannabis was not banned, but it was officially made illegal in 2016.

Belgium

Although cannabis is technically illegal in this country, personal use has been decriminalized since 2003. Adults can possess up to 3 grams at one time or have one personal plant. In 2015, some medicines containing cannabis derived compounds were made legal for medical use. 

Belize

Cannabis is illegal in Belize, although the possession of 10 grams or less has been decriminalized. In the 1980s, this country used to be a major cannabis exporter to the US and other countries, but the industry has since been targeted by local law enforcement. Even though it’s still illegal, cannabis use is highly prevalent in Belize.

Brazil

Cannabis is illegal in Brazil, although penalties for small quantities and personal use have been lessened since 2006. Since 2015, certain cannabis based medications have been approved for use by terminally ill patients and those who have exhausted other treatment options.

Bulgaria

Cannabis is illegal in Bulgaria under any and all circumstances. The punishment for possession and growing cannabis varies depending on the amounts seized, but can range from a fine up to 50,000 euros or prison time up to 20 years. 

Cambodia

Cannabis is illegal in Cambodia, although enforcement isn’t always strict. The law is fairly unenforced, and many “happy restaurants” exist throughout the country, offering food cooked with cannabis. 

Canada

Cannabis is legal in Canada for recreational and medical purposes. With the passing of the Federal Cannabis Act in 2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize the cultivation, trade, and possession of cannabis. Unregulated medical cannabis has been legal in the country since 2001.

Chile

Cannabis is illegal in Chile for cultivation and possession, although personal use has been decriminalized since 2015. Chileans are allowed to grow up to 6 plants for however they’d like to use it. Although the substance is illegal, cannabis use is extremely common throughout this country. 

China

Cannabis is illegal in China, except for the production of hemp. Marijuana is considered to be a dangerous narcotic drug and its users are faced with 10 to 15 days of detention and a fine, although its been reported that punishments are oftentimes more extreme than this. 

Columbia

Cannabis is illegal for commercial sale and legal for medical use. Personal use and growing has been decriminalized, so that each citizen may possess up to 20 grams or 20 plants. Medical cannabis has been legal in the country since 2015.

Costa Rica

Cannabis is illegal in Costa Rica, although possession has no criminal penalties. If someone is caught with 1 to 8 grams, it will be confiscated and the person will be free to go. As of 2021, only one company has been authorized to do research on cannabis and its potential benefits. 

Croatia

Cannabis is legal for medical use in Croatia, but only decriminalized for recreational use. Growing cannabis is considered a felony and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 3 years. 

Cuba

Cannabis is illegal in Cuba under any circumstance. Possession of smaller amounts is punished by 6 months to 2 years in prison. The possession, cultivation, or trafficking of large amounts is punishable by a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison or in some cases, death. 

Czech Republic

Medical cannabis has been legal in the Czech Republic since 2012. Recreational use is illegal, but the personal possession of up to 10 grams has been decriminalized. Cannabis trafficking is still considered a major crime, with punishment ranging from a large fine to 18 years in prison, depending on the amount found.

Denmark

The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in Denmark, but medical use has been available since the introduction of a 4 year program in 2018. With a special permit, Danish farmers are able to cultivate cannabis. 

Dominican Republic

Cannabis is illegal in the Dominican Republic and the possession of any amount is a criminal offense. Said punishment varies based upon the amount found, and can range anywhere from six months in prison to 20 years in prison. Fines can also be issues and are anywhere from 1,500 to 50,000 pesos. 

Ecuador

Cannabis is legal for medical use in ecuador and decriminalized for personal use, although it is still illegal. Ecuador considers marijuana use to be a health issue, rather than a legal one, and allows for citizens to possess up to 10 grams for personal use. 

Egypt

Cannabis is illegal in Egypt, although the enforcement can be fairly lax in certain parts of the country. Large scale smuggling operations can be punishable by death, with smaller infractions also having harsh punishments. Despite this, there are parts of Egypt where cannabis is openly consumed in local cafes. 

El Salvador

Cannabis is illegal in El Salvador for medical and recreational purposes ever since 1988. In comparison to other Latin American countries, El Salvador has one of the strictest and most conservative drug policies.

Estonia

Cannabis is illegal in Estonia, but the possession of up to 7.5 grams has been decriminalized. Large amounts of cannabis and the distribution of the substance are considered to be criminal offences and can be punished with up to 5 years of prison. 

Finland

Cannabis is illegal in Finland for recreational use, and is legal for a small amount of approved medical patients. Certain cannabis based medicines have been approved for sale through several vendors throughout the country, but it’s difficult to get approved for such treatments.

France

Cannabis is largely illegal in France, although a few products have been legalized for medical use. The penalty for possession has been made less intense over time, with Macron deciding to issue more citations rather than jail time. 

Georgia 

The possession and consumption of cannabis is legal in Georgia, although large scale cultivation remains illegal. This is the first formerly communist state to ever legalize cannabis, and there have been talks on legalizing its production in the future.

Germany

Cannabis is illegal for recreational purposes in Germany, but it allowed for a narrow range of medical uses. If a patient has tried every other option possible, then they’re allowed to use cannabis as a last ditch effort to treat their condition. For recreational users, the possession of personal amounts of cannabis doesn’t have to be prosecuted, and is up to the officer’s discretion. 

Ghana

Although Ghana has the highest cannabis use percentage in Africa, the substance is still illegal. Cannabis products with less than .3% THC are legal to use as medical treatments, but in any other circumstance cannabis is considered illegal. 

Greece 

Cannabis is illegal in Greece for recreational purposes, but legal for medical patients. As of 2017, Greece allowed for medical marijuana to be used, and as of 2018 they allowed farmers to cultivate medical cannabis. They have yet to implement a medical marijuana program, but it is technically legal as of now.

Greenland

Cannabis is illegal in Greenland, although studies taken in the country show that its use has only become more frequent over the past 10 years. 

Guatemala

Cannabis is illegal in Guatemala under any circumstance. Although no progress has been made in terms of decriminalization, president Perez expressed a will to do so and it was reported that around 44% of the country’s citizens would support decriminalization as of 2012. 

Guyana

Cannabis is illegal under any circumstance in Guyana, although it is still grown and consumed by its citizens. The possession of 15 grams or more can lead to drug trafficking charges. 

Haiti

Cannabis is illegal in Haiti under all circumstances. Those who break this law are subject to fairly harsh legal punishments. 

Honduras

Cannabis is illegal in Honduras under all circumstances.

Hong Kong

Cannabis is illegal in Hong Kong, and the punishments for being caught with it are fairly extreme. Depending on the amount in possession, prison sentences can range from a few months to 16 years, with fines also having a wide range. 

Hungary

Cannabis is illegal in Hungary under all circumstances. In terms of consequences, there is no difference between the possession of cannabis and heroin, since they are both considered to be “dangerous drugs” under the law. 

Iceland

Cannabis is illegal in Iceland for medical and recreational use. If someone is caught with small amounts of it, they can be subject to arrest and fines, but aren’t threatened with jail time. 

India 

Cannabis is illegal in India, except for the government based sale of bhang, a cannabis product. Although it is illegal, cities like New Delhi and Mumbai are amongst the top 10 cities worldwide with the highest cannabis use. 


Indonesia

Cannabis is illegal in Indonesia, and the punishment for breaking the law is pretty severe. If caught distributing the substance, the minimum sentence is 4 years in prison. If caught simply possessing the substance, the maximum sentence would be 4 years. 

Iran

Cannabis is illegal in Iran, although recreational use isn’t strictly monitored or punished. If one is caught with personal amounts, it often goes unpunished, but the same cannot be said for those trafficking the substance. If someone is caught with 5 kg or more of hashish, they could be subject to capital punishment. 

Iraq

Cannabis is illegal in Iraq, and strictly punished. Possession of even small amounts of cannabis can lead to a minimum sentence of 5-15 years in prison. 

Ireland 

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use, although Ireland began a medical marijuana pilot program in 2019. Punishments for personal use and the possession of small amounts are fairly relaxed. 

Israel

Cannabis is legal for medical use in Israel and has been decriminalized for recreational use. Use of cannabis within one’s home is never prosecuted, and public possession is only subject to minor fines. If you have three offences, then it could become a criminal charge, but again punishment isn’t too extreme in this country. 

Italy

Cannabis is legal in Italy for medical and commercial purposes, although recreational use is still illegal. It has been somewhat decriminalized, with the possession of small amounts of cannabis falling under a misdemeanor, which is punished by a small fine. 

Jamaica

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Jamaica, although highly decriminalized. Citizens can possess up to 2 ounces of cannabis without it going on their criminal record, and Rastafarians can legally use the substance. Medical use is legal in Jamaica, so patients are able to buy small amounts of cannabis at a time to treat their conditions.

Japan

Cannabis is illegal in Japan and punishments for possession of the substance are on the harsher side. It is not uncommon for someone caught in possession of the substance to face a maximum of 5 years in prison. 

Kenya

Cannabis is illegal in Kenya, although it is still widely used. The consumption of the substance is illegal and those caught can face a prison sentence of up to 8 years. 

Lebanon

Medical use of cannabis is legal in Lebanon, however recreational use is not. In mid 2020, the cultivation of medical cannabis was made legal in the country. 

Libya

Cannabis is illegal in Libya under any circumstance.

Lithuania

The use of medical marijuana was approved and made legal in late 2018, but recreational use remains illegal in this country. 

Luxembourg

Cannabis is legal for medical use and has been decriminalized for recreational use. There has been talk of legalization in the future, but steps have yet to be made. 

Malawi

Cannabis is legal in Malawi for medical use, but illegal for recreational use. Although this is the case, cannabis cultivation is pretty common in this country, with it being known for its consistent quality amongst the worldwide cannabis community. 

Malta

Cannabis is legal in Malta for medical use, and has been decriminalized somewhat in the recent past. In early 2021, the president suggested to raise the amount allowed for personal possession to 7 grams, rather than the 3.5 allotted now. 

Mexico

Cannabis is technically illegal in Mexico, although it has been largely decriminalized. In 2005, possession of 5 grams or less was decriminalized, and it was ruled that citizens are legally allowed to grow the substance but not sell it.

Mongolia

Cannabis is illegal in Mongolia under any circumstance. It is still grown inside of the country though, as well as smuggled from Russia.

Morocco

Medical cannabis is legal in Morocco but recreational use is still illegal, although it’s rarely enforced. This country is one of the leading suppliers of hashish to the whole world.

Myanmar

Cannabis is illegal in Myanmar under all circumstances, although it is still illegally cultivated across the country. 

Nepal

Cannabis is illegal in Nepal under all circumstances. After the emergence of the Hippy Trail and pressure from the US government to crack down on drugs, cannabis products were made illegal in the 1970s and have remained illegal ever since. 

Netherlands

Cannabis is available for medical purposes and is widely decriminalized for recreational uses. The laws differ across the country, but for the most part, people can visit coffee shops and indulge in cannabis products, as well as possess up to 5 grams or 5 plants for personal use. 

New Zealand

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use and legal for medical use in New Zealand. It has been available for medical patients since 2018, and was almost legalized for recreational use in 2020, failing by a few percentage points. 

Nicaragua

Cannabis is illegal in Nicaragua under all circumstances. 

Nigeria

Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria under all circumstances, although it is said to be one of the largest consumers of the substance worldwide. 

Norway

Cannabis is legal for medical use and illegal for recreational use in Norway. Recently, there have been some efforts made to decriminalize the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis, but nothing has passed so far. 

Pakistan

Cannabis is illegal in Pakistan, other than the use of CBD products by medical patients. In some northern regions, the policing of cannabis is more lax and generally accepted, but in other areas it can come with fairly severe penalties. 

Paraguay

Cannabis is illegal in Paraguay under all circumstances, although the possession of up to 10 grams has been decriminalized. 

Peru

Cannabis is illegal for recreational uses and legal for medical uses in Peru. It has been decriminalized so that the possession of up to 10 grams for personal use is okay. Growing and distribution are still aggressively prosecuted and can lead to significant prison time.  

Philippines

Cannabis is illegal in the Philippines, although can be issued to those with terminal and chronic illnesses by the Food and Drugs Authority.

Poland

Medical cannabis is legal in Poland, although recreational use is still illegal. Since 2011, first time offenders of possession usually aren’t prosecuted, unless it is a large amount. 

Portugal

Medical cannabis is legal in Portugal, with recreational use still illegal but decriminalized. Portugal became the first country to decriminalize all drugs intended for personal use, and has been that way since 2001. 

Romania

Cannabis is illegal in Romania, except for some cannabis derived drugs for medical patients, although they must contain less than .2 percent THC. Punishment for possession can range from 6 months to several years, depending on the amount found and one’s criminal history. 

Russia

Cannabis is illegal in Russia. Possession of up to 6 grams is considered an administrative offense, and is punishable by a fine or up to 15 days in jail. Possession of larger amounts is considered a crime and the punishments are more severe.

Rwanda

Cannabis is illegal in Rwanda for recreational use, but legal for medical use. 

Saudi Arabia

Cannabis is illegal in Saudi Arabia and punishable by imprisonment. As the amount in possession rises, so does the punishment: in some cases violators can face the death penalty. 

Serbia

Cannabis is illegal in Serbia and depending on the amount in possession and whether or not there was intent to sell, one can face a 6 month to 12 year prison sentence. 

Singapore

Cannabis is illegal in Singapore except for rare medical use. Those with conditions such as epilepsy can potentially have access to cannabis derived medications. If one is caught with 500 grams or more, then there’s a chance that they could face the death penalty. 

Slovenia

Cannabis has been decriminalized in Slovenia and is allowed for medical use. 

South Africa

Cannabis is legal for recreational use, cultivation, and medical use, but not for sale. The substance has been decriminalized since 2018. 

South Korea

The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in South Korea, but the medical use was approved in November of 2018. Access to cannabis products is still fairly limited and only in the form of a few different brands of medication.

Spain

Cannabis is decriminalized in Spain concerning personal amounts, and is available as medical cannabis. The substance can be consumed in one’s home as well as some designated public spaces such as cannabis social clubs. 

Sri Lanka

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use, but has been legalized for traditional medicinal uses as per the Ayurveda Act in the 1980s.

Sweden

Cannabis is illegal in Sweden, but legal for a small amount of medical patients who are able to receive a license. 

Switzerland

Cannabis is decriminalized for personal use in Switzerland and widely available to medical patients. Up to 10 grams is considered a minor offense and is punishable by a small fine. 

Taiwan

Cannabis is illegal in Taiwan and can be punished by up to 3 years in prison.

Thailand

Cannabis is legal for medical use in Thailand and illegal for recreational use, but it’s often not enforced. 

Trinidad and Tobago

Cannabis is illegal, although it was decriminalized in 2019 so that citizens can possess up to 30 grams or 4 plants per person. 

Turkey

Cannabis is illegal in Turkey, but available under a few medical circumstances in the form of cannabis based pharmaceuticals. The possession or consumption of any drug is a violation of the law and can be punished by a range of prison time depending on the circumstance. 

Uganda

Cannabis is illegal in Uganda under all circumstances. 

Ukraine

Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Ukraine, but was legalized in 2021 for medical use. Only a few cannabis based products are available for use. The possession of up to 5 grams or 10 plants has been decriminalized and is considered to be an administrative offence rather than a criminal one.

United Arab Emirates

Cannabis is illegal in the UAE under any circumstance and can be punished with a minimum 4 year prison sentence. 

United Kingdom

Cannabis is available for limited medical use, and is still illegal for recreational use in the United Kingdom. More often than not, a warning or fine will be given for possession rather than legal prosecution.

United States

Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug and illegal at the federal level, although it is legal for medical use and recreational use in many states

Uruguay

Cannabis is legal for residents of the country and for medical patients. It is legal to sell, consume, and produce the substance, but no foreigners are allowed to purchase it. 

Venezuela

Cannabis is illegal in Venezuela under all circumstances. If the amount in possession is considered to be for personal use, then punishment can be more rehabilitation based than prison based. 

Vietnam

Cannabis is illegal in Vietnam under all circumstances. 

Zimbabwe

Cannabis is illegal in Zimbabwe under all circumstances.