Marijuana and the International Law
January 6th 2009 11:33
Like Alcohol, all countries have different ways of dealing with Marijuana. This is a list of laws that Countries all over the world have for possession or use of marijuana.
Albania Laws prohibit possession and use, but are rarely enforced.
Argentinia Accepted but not legislated for Medical Use. Smaller amounts decriminalised.
Australia Different States have different laws. Queensland would see possession of marijuana as an offence for which one would appear in court. Hypothetically, this could lead to up to fifteen years in jail, but this is not common for possession of small amounts. New South Wales and Tasmania have banned use, which attracts fines. Other states and territories, such as the Northern Territory see possession as a misdemeanour, which one may pay a fine for. South Australia may demand fines for some offences, and potential jail terms for more serious offenses. In Western Australia up to two plants are permitted for personal use. Northern Territory also allows possession of plants for personal use both these states subject plants to height restrictions.
Austria No prosecution for smaller amounts.
Bangladesh Illegal in North Bangladesh.
Belgium Marijuana is not legal, but is legally tolerated, so long as the user is not causing trouble to their environment. Smaller amounts are not prosecuted.
Britain Marijuana is a class B drug (Second most restricted). There are also five separate schedules of drugs for medical use. Small amounts for private use are not pursued in court.
Cameroon Use and possession illegal, through permitted for Cancer and AIDS patents.
Canada While socially tolerated, and politically pressured towards legalization, Cannabis is still illegal, and fines or jail sentences may be dealt to offenders. The court ruling Hitzig v. Canada gives seriously ill Canadians the right to use Marijuana, though not a means. Sativex (essentially Cannabis in Liquid form) is available by prescription, and is used by sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis.
China Smoking or selling can be a Capital Offence.
Croatia Possession, sale and use illegal. In practice, less than one gram will not see a case in court, but may see a charge of 700 Euro. Cases in court may result in up to three years jail.
Czech Republic Possession of under 20 grams is not a crime, but the owner may be fined. Czech law does not tend to distinguish between different types of drugs.
Denmark Illegal, however it there is the interesting case of the social experiment of Christiania. Smaller amounts are not prosecuted.
Dubai Trafficking or possession of large amounts can be punishable by life in prison or death.
Ethiopia Possession Punishable by up to six months in prison.
Finland Up to six plants, within a small group, distribution, cultivation and use are accepted as misdemeanours. It is to the discretion of a prosecutor to decide if smaller cases are seen.
France Minor offences can mean a year in jail. Possession or sale can lead to 20 years in Jail. Life sentences are possible. When caught possessing cannabis, an individual can be held without trial for up to four days.
Germany Possession and use are illegal, however, a fine may not be incurred where the amount is small enough. Small numbers of people have permission for medical use of Marijuana.
Honduras Use and possession are regarded harshly by law. However, it is said that use is liberally treated in practice.
Hong Kong Laws are very strict. Heavy fines may be paid and jail time varies between 7 years for use and life for trafficking.
India In Goa, Marijuana is accessible but illegal. Most offences real or fraudulent can be paid for through bribery as corruption is rife within the police forces. Forms of Marijuana are legal for cooking.
Indonesia Up to 20 years imprisonment for possession of an illegal drug. Possible death sentence for trafficking, though in the high profile case of Schappellle Corby, the sentence was 40 years, reduced to 20.
Ireland Fines for marijuana related crimes (with the exemption of possessing seeds, which is not criminal) on a first offence. Higher fines for second offence, with even higher fines, and potential jail time for a third offense. Marijuana has no recognised medical benefits in Ireland, however an extract used to treat Multiple Sclerosis (possibly Sativex) has been approved for trials. The Gardi (Irish police) do have a level of discretion when it comes to prosecution.
Israel Small numbers of people are permitted use, including the terminally ill. THC has been trialled in the military for Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Italy Marijuana is class B (least controlled class). Private possession and use is not penalised. Public use is penalised.
Jamaica Possession illegal though enforcement is rare.
Japan All THC producing forms of Cannabis are illegal. Culturally it is not popular or generally tolerated. Possession can lead to five years imprisonment with hard labour.
Korea There is no distinction between Marijuana and any other drug.
Kuwait Minor cases can be overlooked, but possession is punishable by Imprisonment. Sale or cultivation may lead to life imprisonment or death.
Lativa Small amounts may result in a fine. Larger amounts may lead to a prison sentence. A drug test can be used as proof of use. A first offence may result in a fine, a second offence may lead to jail time.
Lebanon Treatment and Rehabilitation for first time offenders.
Lituania Use may result in a fine or jail time.
Luxembourg - Marijuana is decriminalised. Fines range from 250 2,500. However jail time can apply in more serious circumstances such as public use, or involvement of minors.
Republic of Macedonia Smaller amounts may be ignored, larger amounts may result in three months to five years.
Malaysia Harsh laws see the death penalty enforced for trafficking. Possession may see a jail sentence of between five and twenty years and whipping of at least 10 strokes.
Mexico Small amounts of marijuana are decriminalised.
Morocco Small amounts can lead to 48 hours jail time, larger amounts can lead to up to four months.
Mozambique. Technically illegal, but widely tolerated. Fines are possible with public use.
Nepal Illegal but not uniformly enforced.
Netherlands While the Netherlands has a reputation for having an open drug policy, marijuana is not legal. There has been support for its legalisation, but this is impossible in accordance with several anti-drug agreements to which the Netherlands is party. However, it is tolerated and can be purchased in Coffee shops. It can be also bought as a prescription drug under the name Mediwiet.
New Zealand Illegal, including medical use.
Norway Up to 15 grams incurs fines of around 1500-5000 Kroner for first time offenders. Second time offenders, dealers (definition of dealing includes possession over 15 grams) may face jail time.
Pakistan Use is accepted but not legal.
Peru Up to 8 grams is accepted for possession, provided no other drugs are possessed.
Philippines Possession many lead to twelve to fifteen years of jail. More serious offences or possession of large amounts may lead to Life Imprisonment. The Death Penalty has been used but was abolished in 2006.
Poland Illegal, with high penalties for possession.
Portugal Use is decriminalised, while sale and trafficking remain illegal.
Puerto Rico Illegal as a misdemeanour, though tolerated.
Romania Small amounts may lead to fines of between 150 200 $US. Larger amounts may lead to jail time of between 3 and 6 years. Sale may result in jail time in excess of this.
Russia Effectively smaller amounts are decriminalised, but my incur a fine relative to the daily minimum wage.
Saudi Arabia Death for Trafficking.
Singapore Death Penalty for Trafficking.
Slovenia Small amounts tolerated. Larger amounts on repeat offence may result in 1 3 years jail time. If involved in organised crime, this increases to 3 15 years.
Somalia Punishable by death or flogging.
South Africa Illegal.
South Korea Use not tolerated, minimum six months jail time.
Spain- The Autonomous region of Catalionia has approved trials of Sativex. Spain distinguishes between drugs that do serious harm and those that do not. Despite being one of the more relaxed countries in terms of drug laws, with home use and personal growing decriminalized, legalisation is not supported widely within the community.
Sweden Small amounts of possession may lead to a fine, and treatment. Driving under the influence may lead to suspension of license and at least one month imprisonment. Sale may lead to a prison sentence of 6 to 10 years.
Switzerland Use, possession and sale are illegal, as is incitement to use, and can be punished with fines or up to three years jail. However, it can be purchased in some coffee shops, and enforcement appears uneven. There is no penalty in particularly light cases. Consumption of soft drugs is punishable with a fine of around 100 Swiss franks, but the amount is relative to the accuseds financial situation. This amount increases with repeated offences or larger amounts.
Thailand Illegal. Death Penalty often enforced for sellers.
Thaiwan Possession can lead to up to 3 years imprisonment.
Turkey Cultivation is controlled by the government as Cannabis has many legal uses. Possession of small amounts may lead to a fine, where trafficking, cultivation or sale may lead to may lead to 2 5 years imprisonment, longer if organised crime. Consumption may lead to 1 3 years imprisonment.
United Arab Emirates Death Penalty seems to be possible for Trafficking. Small amounts carry a mandatory 4 years sentence.
United Kingdom Illegal. Sativex is availible through prescription through a faily long and compicated process, and is not legally prescribed in the UK.
United States Varies by area. In Alaska, four grams is permissible for private use.
Small amounts are also decriminalised in some areas including Boston.
In California, medical use is permitted.
In some states including LA, Honolulu, Medical Marijuana can be purchased by those with prescriptions from vending machines.
Other states such a Washington have harsher laws, with up to 5 years jail for sale, cultivation or possession over 20grams.
Uruguay Illegal over 5g.
Venezuela Decriminalised. Over 20g leads to mandatory drug treatment programs.
Viet Nam. Illegal.
Effects of Marijuana on the Brain.
Personal Story relating to Marijuana law in Japan.
Image by WarrentedArrest under an Attribution Creative Commons License.
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