Weed Legislation in 16 Countries

Curious in which country is the best place to go for a joint? The US Law Library of Congress, a library that documents all of America’s laws, has released a report comparing marijuana laws in 16 different countries.

The report describes countries where possession and use is legal or tolerated, as well as countries that are currently in the process of legalizing use. What is striking is that Uruguay is described in the document as the only country where the green stuff is legal. Possession of cannabis is legal in that country, but use in public is prohibited for the time being.


Despite the report stating that cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands, it does acknowledge the fact that use is not punished. The report also states that it is officially not allowed to sell weed to anyone who is not resident in the Netherlands. That means tourists shouldn’t be allowed to buy weed. This is quite contradictory, because most of the income of coffee shops – especially in Amsterdam – is generated by tourists.

Complicated legislation

Portugal in particular has a laundry list of consequences for anyone caught. This has to do with the fact that the country has had many problems with addicts and their care in the past. When you are caught in Portugal with weed in your pocket, your past with the soft drugs is extensively checked. This is similar to the legislation in Mexico. Here you are always referred to an addiction clinic after an arrest.


The report is definitely worth reading. Nearby countries such as Germany and Norway are also included. It is also interesting to see that the world is becoming more and more tolerant.

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