10 countries where marijuana is legal
Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah has brought marijuana into the public discourse with his promise to legalise it if elected. If he occupies State House, Kenya will join many other countries around the world where the cultivation, sale and consumption of the weed would be legal. Nailantei Norari looks at some other nations where the weed is legalised
The high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, was the first country in the continent to legalise medicinal cultivation of weed in 2017. It is the largest cannabis producer of weed in Africa as different varieties of cannabis thrive here. It is however still illegal to use and possess weed or use it for recreational purposes there. Cannabis is cultivated almost everywhere in Lesotho, including the capital Maseru, but the primary cultivation is in the central mountain zones and western foothills.
2. South Africa
South Africa is quite chilled about the consumption of marijuana. The country’s Constitutional Court decriminalised the possession, growing and usage of weed by adults in private in 2018. However, buying, selling and usage of weed outside private spaces is still prohibited. Here, medical cannabis products may be prescribed for any health condition, once the presiding physician determines that it could assist in treatment. Patients may request medical cannabis through authorised health practitioners who are licensed by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority
In Holland, it is not only legal to light up a weed spliff, but you can also buy weed gummies or have some weed coffee. During the Covid-19 pandemic, some weed coffee shops had been closed down, but they were later reopened as the service they were providing—the sale of weed—was considered essential.
Not only is bhang legal in Canada for anyone who is 18 years of age and above to legally possess up to 30 grams of weed in public, but also one can also legally grow up to four marijuana plants at home. Talk about getting high on your own supply. On October 17, 2018 the North American nation became only the second country in the world after Uruguay to formally legalise the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of bhang and its by-products. It is the first G7 and G20 nation to do so.
In the South American country, which is also notorious with production and sale of other hard drugs such as cocaine and heroine, the selling of weed is still illegal but the possession of up to 20 grammes of weed is legal. One can grow up to 20 plants for personal use, which can grow really big as the climactic conditions in that part of the world are suitable for the growth of the plant.
6. United States
In 19 out of the USA’s 50 states, two US territories, and the District of Columbia (DC) have legalised the recreational use of cannabis. In 37 states, four US territories, and DC have legalised the medical use of the drug, but not recreational consumption. One of America’s most recognisable sports figures former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been selling cannabis products since 2016 through his California-based Tyson Holistic label. California is one of the states where marijuana is legal.
In June 2020, the East African nation permitted the production and processing of medical marijuana with an aim to maximise its profits. The production and use of weed is however limited to licensed dealers such as the pharmacies. However, in Rwanda, recreational consumption of cannabis remains illegal. Its production is done in adherence to the law governing narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors.
In the North African country, cannabis had been illegal since the nation’s independence in 1956, reaffirmed by a total ban on drugs in 1974, but was partially tolerated in the country. Cannabis has been cultivated in Morocco for centuries and the country is currently among the world’s top producers of hashish. As of 2016, Morocco was the world’s top supplier of cannabis. On May 26, 2021, it decriminalised the legal use of bhang through parliament. Legal use means it can only be used in medicine, cosmetics and industrial purposes. Recreational use remains prohibited and subject to prosecution. This is just like in Zambia and Zimbabwe where weed use for medical purposes is legal while consumption is illegal.
At Uruguay, folks can head over to the pharmacies to hoard marijuana for recreational purposes but they first have to first officially register with a regulator. The country legalised the recreational usage of marijuana for people aged 18 years and above in 2013, making it the first country in the modern era to legalise cannabis. In August 2014, the South American nation legalised the growing up to six plants at home, as well as the formation of Cannabis Social Clubs, a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime, and the creation of a Cannabis regulatory institute.
The Caribbean country decriminalised ganja otherwise known as weed, kaya or cannabis in February 2015. The country permits the use of cannabis for medicinal and religious purposes. Here, Rastafarians can have weed in unlimited quantities without any restrictions. Indentured servants imported from India during British rule of both nations introduced cannabis to Jamaica in the 1850s and 60s. It was, however, banned under the 1913 Ganja Law.