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*Post published January 7 2015. Always check the most recent national laws of the country you plan to travel to before you depart. 

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to make it legal to grow, sell and consume cannabis, and since this landmark decision, other countries throughout the world have begun to follow suit.

Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs around the world, and while the legality of its use varies from country to country, the world is beginning to see a trend in its legalization for recreational and general use.

This trend has been largely for medicinal purposes.

The possession and use of small quantities of cannabis seeds or marijuana is decriminalized in the following countries.

Always check for up to date legislation before traveling.

Countries Where Cannabis is Legal

Uruguay

The first country to pass legislation to legalize cannabis for personal use, though what constitutes as a reasonable amount for personal use has not been defined.

You must be 18 or older to legally buy Cannabis, and unfortunately for tourists, must be a resident of Uruguay who has registered with the authorities.

All cannabis is grown and distributed by the authorities.

Colombia

Personal consumption is legal for small amounts of up to 22 grams.

Selling cannabis is illegal, though you can grow up to 20 plants for personal use.

Spain

You can grow your own plants in Spain for personal use, and consumption is legal so long as it is done on private property and not in a public area.

CC

Legal in private. Photo CC by Katheirne Hitt

Actually buying or selling cannabis in any quantity is illegal, and possession and consumption in a public place will land you a fine.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is tricky – cannabis is technically illegal, though a large percentage of the population smokes it.

Police officers usually turn a blind eye to those carrying seeds for personal consumption, though there is no set amount which has been established for minimum possession.

Czech Republic

Cannabis is legal in the Czech Republic for medicinal purposes only, and only legally available via prescription.

Those caught with less than 15 grams for personal use or with five or less plants earn a  police warning.

Ecuador

The possession of cannabis under 10 grams for personal use is totally acceptable.

Jamaica

While Jamaica is among one of the top 10 countries for recreational cannabis use, growing, selling and using cannabis is surprisingly illegal.

Due to its cultural relevance however (Rastafarianism believes in the spiritual use of cannabis), Cannabis use has been decriminalized, and is openly produced, sold and consumed without much prosecution.

Peru

Cannabis for personal use is legal so long as it is under 8 grams.

Portugal

Portugal has decriminalized all drug use, including that of cannabis, cocaine and heroin. This does not mean that all drugs are legal, ( it is illegal to grow and sell Cannabis), though does mean that those who take drugs for personal use will not result in prosecution.

Portugal treats those who use drugs as sick instead of criminals, and those caught in possession of drugs on more than one occasion can be made to go to rehab.

North Korea

Surprisingly, North Korea is the only country in the world where it is 100% legal to consume and posses cannabis in any quantity, shape or form, in fact, it is not even classified as a drug.

Though we would recommend thinking twice about traveling through North Korea stoned – it’s not the friendliest nation in the world!

Netherlands

Tourists flock from all over the world to the Netherlands’ famous “coffee shops”.

While cannabis is technically illegal, possession of up to 5 grams for personal use has been decriminalized, and the purchase of the drug is allowed through licensed coffee shops.

Any type of sale or transportation of the drug are illegal, and you should not buy it off the street.

Romania

Cannabis is only legal for medicinal purposes, and this is under strict legislative.

Switzerland

You can growing up to four plants but not sell or transport your product.

United States of America

Possession of Cannabis throughout the US is largely illegal, however Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational use, and a few of the other states allow use for medicinal purposes.

Note that Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emiates have the most strict laws against cannabis.

If smoking cannabis overseas, travelers should make themselves aware of the health effects, and also check for the most up to date legislation in each country. Information above is relevant as of January 7 2015.

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post.

    51 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info on this Meg! It is awesome that most of the world is starting to legalize marijuana :)

    • Glad you enjoyed the post! Happy travels!

    • yepsuch a real darn shame England never will untill its too late,blue cheese available quite easilly but with ammonia and other poisons toxic to smoke,hurry up uk matter of emergency.

  2. Great article Megan, I will be following your posts from now on!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Taylor :) Happy travels!

  3. In Switzerland, it is only legal to grow up to four plants per person in 5 different Kantons.

    • Thanks for the info Lee :) Wishing you a happy holidays

  4. I started to like u already!

    • Glad you found the article helpful :)

  5. Have you heard or know anything about traveling to Fiji with a small amount of cannabis oil and a small vaporizer?

    • Hi Tombo, unfortunately I’m not aware of the legalities of traveling to Fiji, though I probably wouldn’t risk it here – Marijuana is not legal and that means no amount of cannabis is accepted in Fiji Islands.

      Check out http://www.marijuanatravels.com/countries/fji for more info on Fiji … hope that helps!

  6. Hi. I am from the Czech Republic. It is true that we have legalized marijuana for medical purpose, but it has zero impact. Our doctors are afraid to use it and patients have the problem with a high cost of the medical cannabis. It is 100% expensive than on the black market.

    • Hi Miroslav, thanks for sharing your insight with us. Hopefully as it becomes more accepted the price of medical cannabis will become more reflective of what people can afford so they don’t have to resort to the black market.

      I guess it doesn’t make much sense to have a law in place if it doesn’t have any impact!!

  7. Thanks for the info Meg! As a smoker now I can choose where I can go on summer to smoke legally…

    • Hi Topper – glad you enjoyed the post. As always, just do a quick check online to make sure laws haven’t changed before you go :) Happy travels!

  8. Hi Megan,
    My sister has cancer and their is a strain of marijuana called Indica that she needs. Its does not seem to be legal anywhere. Do you know of any place?
    TY

    • Hi Chris

      Thanks for reaching out – I’m very sorry to hear about your sister. Unfortunately I can’t find any solid information which specifically spells out the legality of the different strains. That being said, a couple of articles I have pulled up suggest that you can buy Indica in coffee shops in Amsterdam.

      Important to note that it’s technically illegal in the Netherlands, though possession of up to 5 grams for personal use has been decriminalized, and they turn a blind eye to buying it through licensed coffee shops.

      I would suggest checking into Amsterdam as a first option and seeing if that could work for you.

      I hope that somewhat helps. Will keep your family in our prayers XX

  9. Wow, really interesting! I absolutely had no idea that North Korea would be 100% on board with weed! Pretty awesome to think about, it would be an awesome idea to see the differences in countries where weed is legal as opposed to where it remains illegal.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Larissa :) I think North Korea takes a lot of people by surprise with that one :D

      Really would be interesting to do a comparison of social and political differences in countries where it is legal / illegal.

  10. Awesome article, Megan. I live in Estonia and although marijuana is not legal here, we have companies here who organize marijuana trips to Amsterdam because this is the nearest place where marijuana is legal. I did not know that you can grow weed in Switzerland!

    • Glad the post was informative Steven, and that you learned something new :) Happy travels!

  11. Thanks for putting this together! It’s cool to see marijuana growing around the world. I don’t think I’ll be traveling to North Korea anytime soon though…

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Brian … I’m not sure North Korea would be the first pick for most :D Though that said I’ve had a few friends travel in the past year and have reported a fairly fascinating experience :)

  12. This is a very informative list for travelers and regular people alike. Hearing that cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world is no surprise.

    • Glad you found the post informative Christina. Attitudes towards cannabis around the world are definitely starting to see a shift.

  13. I’m travelling to Puerto Vallarta Mexico can I bring medical marijuana with me

    • Hi Michele, Marijuana is illegal in Mexico and unfortunately that applies to medical marijuana as well. I would not risk taking it with you. I hope you have a wonderful trip though!

  14. Great information, definitely helps put things into perspective on a global basis! Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Selene! Happy travels!

  15. Hi Megan, thank you for the very informative post. Surely the trend to legalize Marijuana is growing around the world. Will it be the same as the prohibition of alcohol? Thanks again, nice blog!

    • You’re welcome :) I think we’re slowly moving towards global legalization … it won’t happen over night, but attitudes throughout the world are slowly beginning to change and we’re starting to see that acceptance of Marijuana use influence the legislation which prohibits it :)

  16. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, Meg! I think all this information will surely help out frequent travellers and travel bloggers. I think it’s super important for travellers to know about the laws of the country they’re going to visit, in order to remain safe and prevent any legal problems.

    • You’re welcome James! Glad the post could help :) Absolutely re being aware of the laws in the country’s we travel to – it can get pretty messy otherwise, especially when it comes to drugs.

      Happy & safe travels!

  17. Thanks for putting this up. Indeed, there’s a lot of benefits we can get from Medical Cannabis but as what you have said, the legality of its use varies from country to country.

    • You’re welcome Jenna :) Yes, and it’s definitely important to make sure you’re aware of the legal status before traveling, because drugs can be a really big sticking point in a lot of countries, and land you in very hot water if it’s against the law.

  18. Interesting! I’m especially surprised to hear that marijuana is technically illegal in Jamaica, while completely accepted in North Korea. I suppose our expectations are off when it comes to drug laws overseas! Thanks for sharing.

    • I know, it’s a little perplexing right! Definitely not what you would expect :)

  19. great post!
    Good to know where you can smoke without any problem.
    I will keep the list for future trips.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks James, glad the post was informative for you :)

      Happy travels!

  20. One would think cannabis is legal in Jamacia since it’s part of the culture there. I guess its because Jamacia makes more money from exporting it.

    • Yes, it’s very common in Jamaica, and it’s widely used as a religious rite in the Rastafarian faith. But it’s not technically legal. They’ve fully legalized medical marijuana, but still have a long way to go for recreational use, even though it’s probably the most famous country in the world for it.

  21. Thank God it’s already legal here in Canada. Great info!

    • Glad the post was helpful Jennifer! You’ve reminded me that I should probably update this since more countries have legalized since I originally published :)

      Happy new year!

  22. It is a surprise for me that cannabis is legal in North Korea!

  23. Costa Rica,United States of America,North Korea,and most especially Canada because they believe that marijuana can help their people to relieve their illnesses so these countries legalize marijuana.

    • Yes that is a very big factor in the legalization of marijuana for sure :)

  24. I like that there are a lot of countries that slowly adopted the use of marijuana. Marijuana can really help everyone to reduce the pain that they’re feeling.

    • I think the rest of the world is slowly starting to follow suit too :)

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