map of where in the world weed is legal

Curious about the global landscape of cannabis legalization? Wondering which countries embrace the green revolution? Look no further. In this article, we’ll explore the intriguing question: In which countries is weed legal? While the short answer is that the legality of weed varies from nation to nation, the comprehensive picture is far more captivating. We’ll take a global tour, highlighting countries that have taken progressive steps towards legalization, both for medical and recreational purposes. From trailblazers in North America to unexpected champions in Europe and beyond, we’ll uncover the countries where cannabis is gaining legal acceptance.

Where in the world is weed legal?

1. The United States of America

The US has complex laws on cannabis with different laws in each state. Federally cannabis is still illegal however, some states have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana and others have decriminalized it.

US states where weed is legal: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Additionally, Washington, D.C., has also legalized recreational marijuana.

2. Argentina

Another country where marijuana is not fully legalized, but it has been decriminalized for personal use. Possession of small amounts of cannabis will only result in a fine rather than criminal charges. However, cultivation and sale remain illegal.

3. Australia

Yet another country with complicated cannabis laws. It remains illegal in most states, however, ACT has legalized personal consumption and cultivation of up to 2 plants. NT have also decriminalized personal use with residents able to grow up to 2 plants.

4. Canada

The first of the G7 countries to fully legalize recreational cannabis nationwide in 2018. Possession of up to 30 grams is allowed for personal use and individuals can grow up to four plants at home. The sale of marijuana is also permitted through government-run or licensed private shops.

5. Colombia

Colombia has legalized medical marijuana, with legislation passed in 2016. However, recreational use is still prohibited and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

6. Cost Rica

Costa Rica has also not legalized cannabis, with both medical and recreational use remaining illegal. However, small amounts of cannabis for personal use have now been decriminalized, and personal use does not carry any criminal penalty.

7. Croatia

Croatia has approved legislation that permits the use of cannabis-based medicines for certain medical conditions. However, recreational use remains outlawed, and enforcement of prohibition can be strict.

8. Czech Republic

Another country where cannabis laws are a bit complicated. While it is still classified as an illegal drug, possession of up to 10 grams of THC or growing up to 5 plants for personal use has been decriminalized.

9. Denmark

Still yet to legalize weed, however, Denmark has made it onto our list because of a region called Christiania that is situated in the centre of Copenhaged. Also known as Freetown Christiania, it is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood where the sale and consumption of cannabis have been tolerated, although it is not officially legal. The Danish authorities generally adopt a lenient approach towards cannabis use in Christiania and it is relatively openly used and sold in the region.

10. Georgia

In 2018 legalized possession and consumption but have yet to legalize the sale of cannabis.

11. Germany

Another country that has not fully legalized cannabis, but instead allows it for medical purposes. The use of marijuana is classified as a narcotic drug and therefore heavily regulated by the government although this is likely to change in the near future. While private consumption may be allowed in certain circumstances, smoking weed in public spaces is strictly prohibited.

12. Italy

Italy has also legalized medical use of cannabis, but recreational use remains illegal.

13. Israel

Israel has approved the use of medical cannabis for certain conditions and has even been a leader in cannabis research, but recreational use remains illegal.

14. Jamaica

Jamaica as decriminalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use, but it remains illegal to sell or cultivate.

15. Luxembourg

Luxembourg in 2001 by became the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis. This means that adults over the age of 18 can legally purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use. However, selling or distributing marijuana without a license is still illegal.

16. Malta

Malta legalized possession, consumption and cultivation in 2021 but the sale and distribution of cannabis still remain illegal.

17. Mexico

Mexico is one of the most recent countries to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal uses. You can now carry up to 5 grams of weed legally.

18. The Netherlands

While technically still illegal, the sale and use of cannabis in coffee shops has been tolerated by law enforcement since the 1970s. Medical marijuana is approved for certain conditions and may be cultivated with a permit.

19. Portugal

A unique country when it comes to drug policy. In 2001, the Portuguese government approved legislation that decriminalized the possession and use of all drugs, including marijuana. However, although decriminalized it isn’t yet fully legal.

20. Spain

One of the few countries in Europe that has legalized marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. Spain first decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis in 1974, but it wasn’t until 2021 that a new law fully allowed people to grow, purchase, possess, and smoke marijuana.

21. South Africa

South Africa made history by becoming the first country on the continent to legalize cannabis for personal use. A court ruling in 2018 allowed individuals to grow and consume their own cannabis in private, but it is still illegal to smoke in public or sell to others.

22. Switzerland

While recreational use remains illegal, possession of up to 10 grams is considered a minor offense and is punishable by a small fine. Additionally, some cantons (local states) have even allowed for the creation of cannabis social clubs where members can purchase and consume cannabis in a private setting.

23. Thailand

Is one of the latest countries to fully legalize marijuana and as of June 9th, 2022, the government has legalized cannabis use including possession, cultivation and sale. However, there are some caveats to this such as the law only applies to Thai citizens and for cultivation you must have a license. Despite these laws not applying for tourists, Thailand’s approach to policing it has meant that thousands of dispensaries have popped up and are currently openly selling to tourists with little to no incidents. 

24. Uruguay

The first country in the world to legalize marijuana back in 2013. Selling marijuana outside of government-regulated pharmacies is still outlawed.

Table of cannabis legality by country

CountryMedical LegalizationRecreational LegalizationAdditional Notes
AfghanistanNoNoCannabis cultivation for hashish production
AlbaniaNoNoIllegal, but widespread cultivation
AlgeriaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
AndorraNoNoIllegal, but tolerated for personal use
AngolaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ArgentinaYesNoLimited to specific medical conditions
ArmeniaNoNoIllegal, cultivation for personal use tolerated
AustraliaYesNoVaries by state/territory
AustriaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
AzerbaijanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BahamasNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
BahrainNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BangladeshNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BarbadosNoNoIllegal, decriminalized for personal use
BelarusNoNoIllegal, strict penalties for possession
BelgiumYesNoPrescribed for medical use
BelizeNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
BeninNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BhutanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BoliviaYesNoTraditional and medicinal use permitted
Bosnia and HerzegovinaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
BotswanaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BrazilYesNoPrescribed for medical use
BruneiNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BulgariaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
Burkina FasoNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
BurundiNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
CambodiaNoNoIllegal, but widespread cultivation
CameroonNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
CanadaYesYesLegalized nationwide in 2018
Cape VerdeNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Central African RepublicNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ChadNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ChileYesNoPrescribed for medical use
ChinaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ColombiaYesNoCultivation for medical and scientific purposes
ComorosNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
Congo (Brazzaville)NoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
Congo (Kinshasa)NoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
Costa RicaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
CroatiaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
CubaNoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
CyprusYesNoPrescribed for medical use
Czech RepublicYesNoPrescribed for medical use
DenmarkYesNoPrescribed for medical use
DjiboutiNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
DominicaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Dominican RepublicNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
East TimorNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
EcuadorYesNoLimited to specific medical conditions
EgyptNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
El SalvadorNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Equatorial GuineaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
EritreaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
EstoniaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
EswatiniNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
EthiopiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
FijiNoNoIllegal, but widespread cultivation
FinlandYesNoPrescribed for medical use
FranceYesNoPrescribed for medical use
French Polynesia (Bora Bora)NoNoIllegal, penalties for possession.
GabonNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
GambiaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
GeorgiaNoNoIllegal, cultivation tolerated
GermanyYesNoPrescribed by doctors for specific conditions
GhanaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
GreeceYesNoPrescribed for medical use
GrenadaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
GuatemalaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
GuineaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
Guinea-BissauNoNoIllegal, but widespread cultivation
GuyanaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
HaitiNoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
HondurasNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
HungaryYesNoPrescribed for medical use
IcelandYesNoPrescribed for medical use
IndiaYesNoPermitted for medical and traditional use
IndonesiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
IranNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
IraqNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
IrelandYesNoPrescribed for medical use
IsraelYesNoPermitted for medical and scientific use
ItalyYesNoPrescribed for medical use
JamaicaYesYesPermitted for religious, medical, and scientific
JapanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
JordanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
KazakhstanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
KenyaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
KiribatiNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
KuwaitNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
KyrgyzstanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
LaosNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
LatviaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
LebanonYesNoPermitted for medical and industrial use
LesothoYesNoCultivation for medical and research purposes
LiberiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
LibyaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
LiechtensteinNoNoIllegal, but tolerated for personal use
LithuaniaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
LuxembourgYesNoPrescribed for medical use
MadagascarNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
MalawiNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
MalaysiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
MaldivesNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
MaliNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
MaltaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
Marshall IslandsNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
MauritaniaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
MauritiusYesNoPrescribed for medical use
MexicoYesYesLegalized for recreational use in limited quantities
MicronesiaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
MoldovaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
MonacoNoNoIllegal, but tolerated for personal use
MongoliaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
MontenegroYesNoPrescribed for medical use
MoroccoNoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
MozambiqueNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
Myanmar (Burma)NoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
NamibiaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
NauruNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
NepalYesNoPermitted for religious and traditional use
NetherlandsYesNoTolerated in designated coffee shops
New ZealandYesYesLegalized for recreational use in 2020
NicaraguaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
NigerNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
NigeriaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
North KoreaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
North MacedoniaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
NorwayYesNoPrescribed for medical use
OmanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
PakistanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
PalauNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
PalestineYesNoPermitted for medical and scientific use
PanamaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Papua New GuineaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ParaguayYesNoPermitted for medical and scientific use
PeruYesNoPermitted for medical and scientific use
PhilippinesNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
PolandYesNoPrescribed for medical use
PortugalYesNoDecriminalized, not legalized
QatarNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
RomaniaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
RussiaNoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
RwandaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
Saint Kitts and NevisNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Saint LuciaNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
SamoaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
San MarinoNoNoIllegal, but tolerated for personal use
Sao Tome and PrincipeNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
Saudi ArabiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SenegalNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SerbiaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
SeychellesNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
Sierra LeoneNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SingaporeNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SlovakiaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
SloveniaYesNoPrescribed for medical use
Solomon IslandsNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
SomaliaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
South AfricaYesNoPersonal use decriminalized
South KoreaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
South SudanNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
SpainYesNoPersonal cultivation and private use tolerated
Sri LankaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SudanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
SurinameNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
SwedenYesNoPrescribed for medical use
SwitzerlandYesNoPrescribed for medical use
SyriaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TaiwanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TajikistanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TanzaniaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ThailandYesNoPermitted for medical and research purposes
TogoNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TongaNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
Trinidad and TobagoNoNoIllegal, but decriminalized for personal use
TunisiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TurkeyNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TurkmenistanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
TuvaluNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
UgandaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
UkraineYesNoPrescribed for medical use
United Arab EmiratesNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
United KingdomYesNoPrescribed for medical use
United StatesYesYesVaries by state; legal for medical/recreational
UruguayYesYesFirst country to fully legalize cannabis
UzbekistanNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
VanuatuNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
Vatican CityNoNoIllegal, but tolerated for personal use
VenezuelaNoNoIllegal, but cultivation widespread
VietnamNoNoIllegal, cultivation widespread
YemenNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ZambiaNoNoIllegal, harsh penalties for possession
ZimbabweYesNoPermitted for medical and scientific use

Leave a Reply