The Countries Around the World Where Marijuana is Legal

Thailand recently made marijuana legal, making it the first country in Asia to do so. This has started a conversation about where marijuana is legal. But if you think that means you can smoke a little while traveling in the country, you’re wrong. Thai Health Minister Anutin Charnivirakul has made it clear that visitors to the country shouldn’t expect to “freely smoke pot.”

Laws about marijuana can be hard to understand because they vary from country to country and culture to culture. “Decriminalized” doesn’t really mean “legal,” and just because cannabis is okay for medical use in a country doesn’t mean it’s okay for people to use it for fun.

Here is a list of the laws about marijuana and the places where it is legal.

What is the difference between “legal” and “decriminalized”?

If marijuana is no longer illegal, people who have it or use it won’t be arrested or charged with a crime. Some countries don’t make it a crime to have marijuana, but it may still be against the law. This means that you won’t be charged with a crime, but you could get heavy fines or be sent to a program for education or treatment.

Even if marijuana is legalized or no longer a crime, this does not mean that it is no longer regulated. Even in places where marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use, it is only legal to buy it from licensed stores.

Countries where marijuana is legal


Since 2001, it has been legal in Canada to use cannabis as medicine. Under the Cannabis Act, it was also legal to use for fun in 2018. As of 2019, Canada also lets people buy edibles and concentrates made from cannabis. Because of this, adults over the age of 18 are allowed to:

  • In public, you can legally carry up to 30 grams of dry cannabis or its equivalent.
  • It is legal for adults to share up to 30 grams of marijuana with each other.
  • Buy dried or fresh cannabis, as well as cannabis oil, from a store that is licensed by the province.
  • Grow up to four cannabis plants per household for your own use from legal seeds or seedlings.
  • You can make food and drinks with cannabis at home as long as you don’t use any organic solvents to make concentrated products.

Can tourists in Canada legally buy marijuana?

If you are traveling in Canada and are at least the minimum age for the province or territory you are in, you can have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent. Remember that it is still against the law to bring marijuana or cannabis products across the Canadian border, either into or out of the country. This includes CBD. This is true even if you’re allowed to use it for medical reasons. If you enter Canada with any kind of cannabis, you have to tell the Canada Border Services Agency about it.


Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize marijuana in 2013. Under Uruguayan law, adults over the age of 18 who live in the country and are registered with the government can grow their own marijuana, join a cannabis club, or buy up to 40 gms of cannabis per month from an authorized pharmacy. Marijuana is legal in the country for both recreational use and medical use.

Can tourists in Uruguay legally buy marijuana? 

At the moment, only Uruguayan citizens and residents can legally buy and use marijuana in the country.

South Africa

Adults in South Africa can privately own, grow, or use cannabis. In South African territory, it is still against the law to buy, sell, or use marijuana in public.


Several US states have legalized marijuana, but it is still illegal at the federal level for both recreational and medical use. Here are the states where it is legal to use marijuana:

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington, D.C.
  • California
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Snowfall
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Guam
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • Mountain
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island

Is marijuana legal in the Netherlands?

Contrary to what most people think, marijuana is not legal in the Netherlands. Instead, it has been decriminalized. In the Netherlands, it is illegal to have, sell, or make drugs, both soft and hard. As part of the Dutch tolerance policy, however, some coffee shops can sell cannabis in the country under certain conditions.

A coffee shop is a place where you can buy cannabis, but you can’t buy or drink alcohol there. Nobody gets in trouble for having up to 5 grams of marijuana or 5 grams of cannabis plants, neither these businesses nor the general public.

Can tourists in the Netherlands legally buy marijuana?

Under the policy of tolerance, only “people who live in the Netherlands” can go to coffee shops and buy marijuana from them. But different cities and towns have different ways of following the rule. Now, it’s possible that people who don’t live in Amsterdam will be banned from cannabis coffee shops to stop organized crime and drug tourism.

Countries where marijuana is decriminalized

  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Brazil
  • bolivia
  • Chili
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Swiss
  • Czech Republic
  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • moldova

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