Legality of cannabis is one of the hottest debates all around the world. Be it the states of the US or be it the African nations or be it India – there has been a large scale demand for the legalization of marijuana all over the world and governments have slowly started to show a positive action towards this demand. While there was a time when almost the entire world was anti-marijuana, the laws are getting relaxed in many places now. Many countries have now made marijuana completely legal as well.
In this article, we take a quick look at some of the countries which have made weed legal, as well as the history of the cannabis plant. We shall be discussing what is it that makes cannabis illegal and how this outlook has changed over the years. That shall be followed by some of the pros and cons of legalization, as well as some benefits of marijuana in the world of medicine and a look at weed as a recreational drug.
Basically, over the course of this article you’ll find everything that you wanted to know about weed ranging from which are the countries with legal weed all the way to how to grow marijuana and why is it that weed smells so much! Here we go:
Countries with Legal Weed
Before we get into the details of the legalization of marijuana such as why was it made illegal and other similar questions about the movement of weed legalization, let us first take a quick look at which all are the countries with legal weed.
Let us start with Canada, which was one of the first major nations to take the pro-legalization stance forward. In Canada, the consumption of marijuana products for medicinal purposes was legal since 2001. The country took things to the next level in 2018 when they passed the Cannabis Act and became only the second nation in the world (after Uruguay) to lift all restrictions off weed. Under the terms of this act, the cultivation, possession, acquisition, and consumption of marijuana as well as its by-products are legal in the country (with certain exceptions and reasonable restrictions).
Uruguay, as mentioned above, was the first nation in the world to fully legalize cannabis. Then there are countries such as Peru and Spain where consuming and growing marijuana for personal purposes is legal. One of the strangest things that you’ll hear is cannabis being illegal in the Netherlands, which has been quite known all over the world for its access to weed. Well, weed is technically illegal in the Netherlands but there are quite a few exceptions to it – including the famous coffee shops of Amsterdam where people from all over the world conjugate to enjoy a good ol’ joint. Weed has, over the years, become legal in South Africa as well where people can smoke as well as grow their own weed.
If you look at the Asian countries, weed is illegal in India, but the outlook towards weed is pretty relaxed and it is available even in some government-certified shops in different forms. North Korea has a very relaxed attitude about weed consumption and it is almost legal there. In China, marijuana has been illegal since 1985 and you can get a 10 to a 15-day jail term if you’re caught with it, along with a fine. In some Middle Eastern countries, the laws related to weed are very strict including even death penalties. Japan. Malaysia and Indonesia too have quite a strict approach towards marijuana. However, the laws surrounding marijuana are constantly evolving and nowhere else can you see them evolving at such a rapid pace as you can in the US!
Let us now look at the US States where weed is legal: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachussettes, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oragon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
However, there’s a slight complication here. There are some states which have 100% legality – you can consume marijuana for medicinal as well as recreational purposes. Then there are some states where recreational consumption of marijuana is not allowed. Even in both these types of states, there are different laws which govern the cultivation of marijuana.
- States where weed is 100% legal: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Masssachusettes, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In all these states you can consume marijuana for medicinal purposes as well as for recreational purposes. However, there is a limit to how much weed you can possess at any given point in time. Moreover, you can also grow weed in these states but each of them has their own limitation as to how many plants (and for what purpose) can you grow weed for.
- States where weed is legal but only for medicinal purposes: Alabama, Arizona, Arkensas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. In some of these states there might be CBD restrictions but they all allow legal marijuana for medicinal purposes in some form.
- States where weed is 100% illegal: Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota
The History of Weed Legalization
Now that you know everything about the legal status of weed around most major nations of the world, let us take a closer look at the history of legal weed.
Why was weed banned?
Up until a century ago, there were no clear laws governing weed in most countries of the world and hence it was considered legal anyway. However, over the years this outlook changed. People began considering it as an addictive drug and when the US Government termed it a schedule 1 drug, classifying it along with some other dangerous highly addictive drugs. It was also the time when a number of countries eventually succumbed to US pressure and eventually marijuana became a drug that was illegal all over the world. With the years that followed, it began to be associated with addicts and hippies and became a taboo. However, this attitude is now shifting towards a pro-legalization drive.
What is the current status with the legalization of weed?
Most US states have legalized marijuana in some form or the other. Apart from the US there are some countries where weed is fully legal while there are others where weed is partially legal for medicinal purposes. Canad has been among the pioneers in this and is one of the most liberal nations when it comes to weed related laws. However, if you give it a broader look – by and large the laws that govern marijuana across the world are getting more and more relaxed. Jails are no longer being filled by people who were caught with weed and they are being let go with a fine – this was a major concern a decade or two ago when innocent people had their lives destroyed if they were found with weed! The current status is quite positive and it seems many more nations are going to legalize marijuana in the days that are going to follow.
What are the pros and cons of legal weed?
- One of the biggest pros of legalizing marijuana is that it will help ensure that many people who are being jailed as ‘offenders’ will have a better record and will not be viewed in society as criminals. This has been something that has been debated for a really long time and discussions around it continue all over the world even today.
- Legalizing weed will help ensure that people can buy them from government licensed shops instead of buying it off the streets where it might be spiked or unsafe.
- It also gives rise to many new entrepreneurs who are setting up businesses based on cannabis related products. Giving a major boost to the economy.
- There are many benefits of marijuana when it comes to the world of medicine which are only now being explored by medical practitioners.
- Making weed legal makes it easy for people wanting weed to access it, thereby some blame the government for any ‘addictions’ that might happen.
- Another disadvantage of making marijuana legal is that while weed is being legalized ,the social taboo around it continues and people find it awkward to be around a weed dispensary.
- It can potentially have an impact on road accidents because if people drive their vehicles after smoking weed, they, in their imparied judgment, might injure themselves or others due to an accident.
Benefits of Marijuana
Now that you have seen what the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana are, let us now take a detailed look at some specific benefits of marijuana. There are a number of benefits that marijuana poses. Over the years, governments across the world have realized that these benefits are of good use for the public and hence weed has been legalized.
Perhaps the biggest medical benefit of consuming marijuana comes in the form of pain relief. This is primarily thanks to the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant which provide a relief from chronic pain. This is also the reason why many people who are undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy also consume medicinal marijuana in order to get relief from their pain. Smoking cannabis has also been linked to regulating insulin levels in the body. People dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, autism and depression have also found consumption of marijuana to be quite relieving. Consumption of medicinal marijuana is also good for those who suffer from seizures. Another major benefit of medicinal marijuana comes in glaucoma patients, where it helps ease the pressure on the eyeball. Furthermore, people dealing with ADHD also seem to feel better after consuming marijuana and can focus better.
Recreational marijuana doesn’t really have ‘benefits’ as such but there’s a common notion that smoking weed helps you focus better as well as helps the creativity flow out. While there’s little evidence to prove this, what we do know is that weed gets you ‘high’ and has, over the years, become quite a cultural thing. Be it Bob Marley or Snoop Dogg, many major artists around the world have openly endorsed marijuana – including prominent personalities such as Mike Tyson or Cheech and Chong, who are all pro-weed. Recreational smoking of marijuana helps get your mind off things and helps you ease better and just ‘chill’
Are there any disadvantages of smoking weed?
Yes, there are quite a few disadvantages of smoking marijuana. The most common problem that people face is that they get a dry mouth. This is why many stoners tend to take large amounts of water while smoking up to ensure that their mouth does not dry up. Another disadvantage of smoking weed is that it affects your thinking and makes it harder to remember things (at least for the time while you’re under the influence of weed). It also slows down your reflexes, making it very dangerous to drive while high on weed. This is strongly discouraged and is illegal across the world. Sometimes, consumption of weed may also increase your heart rate which is an alarming thing for those with preexisting conditions. Lastly, it also leads to bloodshot eyes – which are a common ‘tell’ that someone has been smoking weed! Sometimes it also leads to anxiety and depression.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cannabis: Smoking, Growing, Legalization
1. How to grow weed indoors?
Growing weed indoors has become quite a trend of late. The simplest way to grow marijuana indoors is by setting up a grow tent. Inside this tent you recreate a natural environment with the help of grow lights which can provide artificial light quite similar to the natural sunlight thanks to the help of full-spectrum lighting which combines the reds and the blues to give a near-natural experience. In addition to this light, you also need a ventilation system with the help of inline fans and carbon filters. You will also need to provide water and nutrients to these plants to grow. However, by creating an artificial outdoors environment inside a tent, you can get pretty good results from your weed plants!
2. Is it better to grow weed indoors or outdoors?
This is an answer that will vary from grower to grower. Some growers prefer to do it the all-natural way by growing it in the soil outdoors. However of late a number of growers are growing their marijuana plants indoors which ensures that they get to grow their weed in a controlled environment. This ‘control’ is one of the biggest factors here as growers can provide just the right amount of light, air, water and nutrients to make sure that their plants are growing in the best possible way and that they are providing the maximum possible yield. This control is something you can’t exercise over your plants if you are growing them outdoors.
3. Why does weed smell so much?
That foul smell that we often associate marijuana with is due to the presence of terpenes. These are aromatic compounds present in almost every plant helping them produce a distinct smell which serves various purposes. For instance, the sweet smell in flowers is to entice insects and small animals towards them which helps them pollinate. The smell of marijuana, for instance, repels insects and animals but attracts humans. The common belief is that the stronger the smell of the weed that you are going to smoke, the more potent of an effect it will have for those seeking a ‘high’ out of smoking it.
4. Are the laws against marijuana harsh?
In most places across the world you will face a fine if you are caught with weed in a country where it is not legal. Possession of larger quantities of weed is always going to land you in more trouble than if you’re carrying small quantities for personal consumption. In some Middle Eastern countries and Egypt the punishment can be much harsher, even death. In Japan there’s a strict jail term and some countries around the world will send you straight to a deaddiction center. The punishment varies from country to country.
We hope that this article on countries with legal weed helps you gain a better insight into, well, countries which have legal marijuana. We have tried to provide as much insight into this as possible along with some other questions about weed – its consumption, pros and cons, and some frequently asked questions. If you think we’ve missed out on something or if there’s something that you wish to ask us, do let us know in the comments below or drop us an email and we shall get back to you. Till then….
Happy Growing! 🙂