Cannabis has been a hot topic in cultures around the world for centuries. You can walk around smoking a blunt in some towns, while others will punish you harshly for even discussing drugs. Look at the U.S. – even with a legal state-issued medical card, you can’t bring your medication across state lines or even through a Border Patrol stop.
If cannabis is important to you (and it should be), here are the countries that are most friendly and most staunchly opposed to the plant.
Top 5 Most Cannabis-Friendly Countries
- Canada – Cannabis is legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018 and hundreds of pot-based companies are open for business. This makes it the second country to fully legalize cannabis for recreational use.Some of the best performing cannabis stocks come from Canada, including Canopy Growth Corp (WEED.T) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.T). This market is poised to become the top in the world, and both the locals and government are mostly supportive.
- Uruguay – Uruguay is an unsung innovator in cannabis and was the first country to legalize pot usage for adults over the age of 18. The commercial market has flourished since 2017, and if you want to witness the future of marijuana decriminalization, Uruguay is where to see it.
- United States – Cannabis (either recreationally or medically) is legal in 30 of the United States. In states like Colorado, Oregon, California, and Washington, views are progressing rapidly in favor of the cannabis industry. The western U.S. is the most cannabis-friendly, but be aware, there are still laws in place that vary wildly from state to state, even city to city.
- Portugal – It’s not just cannabis – Portugal is the Switzerland of the drug war, levying fines or providing treatment options for drug-related offenses since 2001. It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying 20 grams of meth, shrooms, or weed – you’re good in Portugal.
- Mexico – Mexico is often portrayed as the villain in the drug war by the media. However, it’s quite progressive about one of its biggest cash crops. Personal use of 5 grams or less was decriminalized in 2016.
Be aware, however, that cannabis is a divisive issue among the locals, who have been ravaged by cartels fighting to serve America’s drug usage. Like the U.S., you must know where you are before sparking a joint.
Top 5 Least Cannabis-Friendly Countries
- Malaysia – Prescribing medical marijuana in Malaysia will get you sentenced to death, an issue that’s being hotly debated as a man’s life hangs in the balance for selling cannabis oil to patients in need.
- Philippines – Like many neighboring countries, the Philippines has harsh anti-drug laws. The death penalty is used liberally, with over 12,000 Filipinos reportedly killed in the country’s drug war since 2016.
- Singapore – Anyone familiar with Singapore knows it’s a great place to visit and is warmly accepting of all cultures…except drug users. Drug laws here are among the strictest on the planet. Capital punishment is applied liberally to Singapore’s Misuse of Drugs Act, and cannabis use can significantly shorten your lifespan.
- Egypt – Cannabis has been banned in Egypt since 1877, and it’s still serious about enforcing those laws. A British national was given the death penalty in 2013 for smuggling hashish.
- Iran – It’s not surprising that Iran is as strict against cannabis usage as it is against everything else that might be considered fun. Get caught with pot here, and you’ll lose your wallet and maybe even your head.
Remember cannabis laws are always changing, so keep an eye on the local laws around you and anywhere you visit. Vigilance will always be necessary, even if cannabis is legalized where you live