According to the Chicago Tribune:

Cannabis is decriminalized and allowed for medical use in several regions of North America, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America. But it remains prohibited in Middle Eastern countries and Asia. It is essential for every individual that uses cannabis to have an understanding of these cannabis laws, especially if they are traveling or relocating to another country.

This article is a collection and a quick guide of cannabis laws around the world. So whenever you are visiting a new region, you should have a quick look to determine if you can freely take cannabis while in that region or not.


Currently, cannabis usage is at varying stages of legality and decriminalization in some countries in Europe. Some of these countries include Czech Republic, Portugal, Russia, Croatia, Spain, Ukraine and Switzerland. However, it remains illegal everywhere else in Europe.

You can avoid the possibility of randomly getting caught in a cannabis search by vaping discreetly. But the smell of cannabis is still very divisive, and if caught in areas with strict anti-cannabis rules, you may face some legal issues.

With the European cannabis discourse, it stops short of Turkey. Turkey is beginning to ease off cannabis slightly, but it is still advisable that you don’t take it with you when visiting the country.

European police may also turn a blind eye to weed if it is in small quantities and clearly stated that it is for personal use. If you carry cannabis in more significant amounts, it may seem like you will sell it, and such commercial intent is to be avoided. If you buy cannabis to share with a group of people in Europe, you should quickly divide it into smaller quantities before the police search.

Americas and the Caribbean

In America and Canada, cannabis usage is either legal or considered a misdemeanor. Just as it is with Europe, it is highly recommended that anyone visiting such countries remain discreet even in states where it is entirely legal.

Some people in the Americas and Caribbean may object to the cannabis smell when smoked or vaped around them despite cannabis having a legalized status in the state. When you get to the south of the U. S. A, the situation becomes highly complex, so be careful.

South American countries are more accepting of marijuana as many nations in this region have decriminalized cannabis possession despite sales and cultivation remains illegal.

Jamaica is the only country where the utilization of cannabis is celebrated as a part of their culture. Other countries are either legal, semi-legal, or ignored (so long people are discreet with it). Currently, these countries where it is legal, semi-legal, or ignored include Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Belize, Columbia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay.

Just as we mentioned with Europe when outside Jamaica, ensure that you carry small quantities of cannabis. Also, emphasize the fact that it is for personal and non-commercial use.

Middle East and Asia

The best thing to do with cannabis when in these regions is to avoid moving with it ultimately. Cannabis is currently illegal in these regions except in South Korea, where it can only be used for medical purposes. There is also a rumor that it is legal in North Korea, but this is still in dispute because of the country’s lack of access to information.

In the Middle East and Asia, most people still consider possession of cannabis a grievous offense, while some others completely ignore it. In some countries, like Singapore, Turkey, Korea, KSA, Pakistan, Malaysia and Japan, it is not legal to touch cannabis at all.

It might be safe for you to use cannabis in countries like India, Laos, and Cambodia. Also, remember that foreigners should not expect preferential treatments than what the locals’ experience. If you arrive in these regions, check the peculiar cannabis status in the countries you visit and abide by the rules.

It may be wise to leave your stash at home when going to Asian or Middle Eastern countries as these regions are still strictly against the plant in both forms (medical and recreational).

Australia, New Zealand, Africa

Recreational cannabis is illegal in Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Australia is still at the forefront of cannabis reform globally as it first legalized medical marijuana in 2016. The country decriminalized and accepted cannabis within the cultures of the local Australian people.

In Africa, the enforcement of marijuana-related laws is ineffective. If you are caught with it, you may face severe consequences, especially in Nigeria and Ethiopia. South Africa is the only country where it is safe to use cannabis compared to other African countries, but it is still not recommended.

Lesotho and Zimbabwe have legalized cannabis for medical cultivation, while some other nations are considering legalization. Some of these countries include Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Malawi and Kenya. In the future, these countries have a better chance of decriminalizing cannabis.

You may wonder, “What about those living in Antarctica?” Well, since it is a kind of lawless land, people can do whatever they want. But please be careful with cannabis possession when visiting as there may be some rules concerning cannabis you don’t know about.

Bottom line

Unlike in previous times, many of these regions that may seem very hostile towards cannabis are beginning to consider the medical benefits the plant offers. Yes, many of these countries are still conservative, but the young ones are reading and searching for the benefits of marijuana.

They may remain conservative for now, but experts agree that the future of cannabis in these regions is bright. A good example are North American countries where cannabis may still be illegal at the Federal level and legalized within states. Gradually, people are becoming aware of the value cannabis offers, making it possible for countries and regions to accept and legalize cannabis.

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