Even though evidence of cannabis culture goes as far back as the cultivation of cereals, cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use has been restricted in most countries. Nevertheless, there are some countries that have legalized this herb.
The following are some of the countries where cannabis culture is sprouting, as well as information on staying safe if you’re choosing to consume cannabis while abroad.
The United States
Laws governing cannabis use in the U.S. have changed over the past few decades. As of July 2019, 14 states and territories have made recreational marijuana available to adult consumers, and cannabis culture is taking the market to new heights.
One of the most important factors to consider when consuming cannabis and its products in the U.S. is the vast selection and considerable potency of the options available. Budding cannabis aficionados should take some time researching the outlets and options available to them. Because marijuana is controlled differently from state to state, and still against very much a restricted drug under federal law, caution is still advised.1
Possession of more than five grams of cannabis illegal in the Netherlands, but small quantities are permitted for personal consumption under the policy of toleration.2 This policy does not apply for individuals under the age of 18 because it is against the law for minors to purchase, possess, or consume cannabis.
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Most cannabis use is localized to “coffee shops” that are permitted to sell cannabis under certain strict conditions.3 They may not cause disturbances, are not allowed to sell hard drugs, cannot sell to minors, cannot advertise the drugs, and cannot sell more than five grams of cannabis in a single transaction.
On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada introduced the Cannabis Act, which creates a legal framework for the government to control production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis in Canada.4
Overall, the law allows for the possession of up to 30 grams of legal cannabis for adults who are over the age of 18. However, this overarching law is subject to provincial or territorial restrictions, so it’s important to double-check the specifics of the laws in your region.5
Uruguay was the first Latin American country to legalize marijuana as part of a “national experiment.” With the introduction of this legislation, individuals can grow up to six plants at home or purchase up to 40 grams per month from licensed pharmacies.6 These laws only apply to citizens of Uruguay, meaning that foreigners cannot legally purchase marijuana there.
The primary objective of the experiment was to cut down on illegal businesses, but in many ways, the new laws are only extensions of the old laws. Because legal dispensaries and government-sanctioned transactions are limited, homegrown and illegal suppliers are still making money.7
Even though the countries highlighted above have developed formal legal regulations when it comes to cannabis culture, it is still important to conduct any sales and purchasing with the greatest discretion and caution as these transactions are where most laws are focused. Nevertheless, the move of some of the countries above to legalize marijuana might show a shifting perspective about cannabis culture in some parts of the world.
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