Of the 195 countries in the world, at least 50 of them have either legalized or decriminalized an aspect of cannabis use. That means over 25 percent of the world’s nations have embraced the reality that cannabis prohibition doesn’t actually stop cannabis use. In fact, regulating cannabis not only protects cannabis consumers from black-market weed but provides enormous potential for economic growth and novel therapies for the treatment of an array of conditions.
Countries with Medical Marijuana
Argentina—In 2009, Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled that the private consumption and possession of small amounts of cannabis is not law enforcement’s business. Argentina legalized medical marijuana in 2017.
Australia—Medical marijuana is legal to patients with qualifying medical conditions, which vary by state. The personal use of cannabis is decriminalized in South Australia and Northern Territory. The Australian Capital Territory authorizes the personal use and cultivation of recreational weed, but purchasing weed remains illegal.
Bermuda—The possession of up to 7 grams of personal use cannabis is decriminalized. In 2016, Bermuda’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the medical use of marijuana. Legislative measures have been taken to roll out legal medicinal marijuana in 2019.
Chile—The possession and cultivation of cannabis has been decriminalized. Medical marijuana can be prescribed by doctors and purchased at pharmacies.
Colombia— The possession of a maximum of 22 grams of cannabis or 20 plants for personal use is decriminalized. The medical use of cannabis is legal for certain conditions.
Croatia—Patients with qualifying medical conditions may use medical marijuana. Possession of cannabis for personal use is decriminalized.
Cyprus—Medical marijuana was legalized in 2019 and may be used by patients with advanced states of cancer only.
Czech Republic—Medical marijuana has been regulated since 2013. The possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis or the cultivation of 5 plants for personal use is decriminalized.
Denmark—Denmark is almost halfway through a 4-year pilot program authorizing the limited use of medical marijuana.
Estonia—Patients with a permit may access medical marijuana. The possession of up to 7.5 grams of cannabis for personal use is decriminalized.
Finland—Since 2006, licensed patients may access medical marijuana.
Germany—Patients with debilitating illnesses that are unresponsive to conventional therapies may access medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation.
Greece—Medical marijuana has been legal in Greece since 2017.
Ireland—Medical marijuana is available from pharmacies as a part of a 5-year pilot program that began in January 2019.
Israel—Since the 1970s, Israel has authorized the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients including those with cancer and pain.
Italy—Limited medical marijuana is available to licensed patients. The personal use of cannabis is decriminalized and allowed for religious purposes.
Jamaica—Medical marijuana is available from licensed dispensaries. The possession of up to 2 ounces or the cultivation of up to 5 plants for personal use is decriminalized. Rastafarians are legally allowed to use cannabis.
Lithuania—The Lithuanian legislature passed a bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana in October 2018.
Luxembourg—Since February of 2019, limited amounts of cannabis are available to eligible patients from a small amount of pharmacies.
Malta—Malta legalized medical marijuana in March 2018. The possession of up to 3.5 grams is decriminalized.
Mexico—Cannabis containing less than 1 percent THC is legal for medical use. A 2018 Supreme Court ruling upheld the individual’s right to cultivate and possess cannabis for personal use making prohibition unconstitutional.
Netherlands—Possession of up to 5 grams for personal use is decriminalized, and the sale and use of cannabis is allowed in licensed “coffee shops.” Medical cannabis is available from pharmacies, but it is a very low-THC pharmaceutical-grade product.
New Zealand—Medical marijuana has been legal since 2018. A. referendum will be held on the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2020.
Norway—Qualifying patients may participate in the country’s medical marijuana program once they obtain a prescription from a Norwegian doctor.
Peru—Medical marijuana was legalized in 2017 and is accessible for qualifying patients. Possession of up to 8 grams of cannabis for personal use is decriminalized.
Poland—Medical marijuana was legalized in 2017 and can be used by patients with qualifying debilitating medical conditions.
Portugal—Portugal is well known for being the first country in the world to decriminalize all drugs. Possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis is decriminalized. Medical marijuana was made legal in 2018. Patients can access it from a pharmacy by obtaining a prescription from a doctor.
Romania—Medical marijuana containing less than .2 percent THC can be prescribed to patients.
San Marino—In 2016, the use of medical cannabis was legalized. Patients can be issued a limited amount of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis if they have certain qualifying conditions.
South Korea—The medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2018, but patients can only access pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products due to a Ministry of Food and Drug Safety policy banning use of the flower.
Sri Lanka—Medicinal cannabis was legalized in the 1980s and is commonly used in Ayurvedic traditional medicine.
Thailand—The medical use of cannabis was legalized in 2018.
Turkey—Only pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products can be used with a prescription.
Zimbabwe—Medical marijuana was legalized in 2018.
Countries That Have Legalized Recreational Weed
Canada—Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001. Recreational cannabis was legalized at the national level in 2018.
Georgia—As of a 2018 Constitutional Court of Georgia ruling, the personal use of cannabis is legal. However, there is no legal way to purchase cannabis.
South Africa—The personal use of cannabis was legalized in 2018, but the sale of cannabis remains illegal.
Spain—The law allows personal use cannabis and its cultivation as long as it is consumed privately or in a Cannabis Social Club. The sale of cannabis is illegal.
Uruguay—Cannabis has been fully legal since 2013 and can be purchased by adults aged 18 and older.
Countries Where Weed is Decriminalized Only
- Belize Bolivia
- Costa Rica