Countries Where Marijuana is Legal is a hotly contested conversation and possibly very dangerous. If you want to light up, travel can be a good idea to give you more options and less legal trouble. Colorado is doing a good job at leading the charge of making marijuana legal in the US, but there’s still a long way to go. However, there are quite a few other countries in the world that have already moved past the issue, and people can smoke freely in them.
Difference Between Legal and Decriminalized
One thing to watch out for is whether or not cannabis is legal or simply decriminalized under the national laws. Rumors spread pretty quickly among travelers, and they tend to warp enough that you get the wrong idea – not a mistake you want to make.
Many countries where marijuana is legal or rather have decriminalized it to a certain extent, and that makes the trade easier. Then, sales people with low levels of personal ethics will ensure buyers that it’s completely legal to purchase and consume. But, you must remember that when it’s only decriminalized, the police probably won’t just walk away when they catch you with it. You’re still likely to pay a fine or get stuck with some other punishment.
Colombia has long had an international reputation involving drugs, so it’s not completely surprising that marijuana would be one of the countries where marijuana is legal. However, it’s only legal to grow it and consume it, and you can only sell or transport it if doing so for medical or scientific reasons. Since 1994, it’s been legal go carry up to 22 grams if you have it only for personal use. Also, you can grow up to 20 plants.
The Supreme Court of Justice also made a ruling in 2016 that anyone with more than the legal amount won’t be criminally prosecuted if they can prove that they still only intend their green for personal use. We’re not sure exactly how the determine that, but it can probably be shown by having such an extreme case of the munchies that some ridiculous combination of Colombian food sounds amazing.
The laws around marijuana are complicated in the Czech Republic, even when you’re not high. It’s technically illegal to possess, but it’s decriminalized up to 15 grams. But, since it’s only a misdemeanor offense, the police generally turn their back on any small amounts. This has led many people, even in the country, to believe that it’s actually become legalized.
Cannabis is technically illegal in India, but it has a high rate of usage due to religious reasons. Because of this, there are even government-owned shops that sell it in holy cities, and certain states have separate laws than those established by the national government (think of it like the situation in Colorado). So, if you want to go to the place that gave us the word ganja, feel pretty confident that you’ll be able to get your hands on some.
Ah, Amsterdam. Everyone knows the world’s most famous city for taking part in things that are illegal elsewhere. But, do you want to know the really tricky part? Growing is technically illegal under Dutch law, although only as a misdemeanor.
However, there’s a common Dutch practice of the police turning their backs on things, and cannabis is one of the common issues this is done for. It’s gotten to the point that it’s been done so long that the courts will allow any cases that are brought to them (which basically never happens).
So yes, in the Netherlands you can still buy marijuana from a “coffee shop” and you can ask a police officer for directions if you can’t find it. Afterward, feel free to ask him for directions to a munchie spot, and he’ll tell you his favorite. In other words, while parts of marijuana is still technically illegal, the Dutch law has worked in your favor.
Spain has decided to allow smoking of marijuana in private, but you’re in trouble if you take it out in the streets. It’s also illegal to buy it, so you basically have to be a member of a private club which is allowed to sell. So, if you want to smoke in Spain, your best bet is to make a good friend who wants to invite you over.
Sitting just below Brazil, the relaxed marijuana laws of this South American country make it a popular destination for anyone visiting the region. The big reason is that cannabis is basically legal to grow, sell, buy, and carry. They recently tried to pass a law to limit this to 18 and older citizens of the country, but it hasn’t yet worked its way into the system. Uruguay is definitely one of the countries where marijuana is legal.
Be careful to remember that laws always change, and police aren’t usually interested in whether or not you got the memo. Make sure you learn the appropriate legal requirements in other countries before visiting them. One big piece of advice is to always be more cautious than reckless.
If you’re not sure, just wait until you get home. After all, if home is Colorado, you don’t have anything to worry about!