Home Health & Wellness Germany Scales Back Cannabis Law Proposals: The Legal Status of Cannabis in 37 Other Countries

Germany Scales Back Cannabis Law Proposals: The Legal Status of Cannabis in 37 Other Countries

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A new report has announced that Germany’s plans to legalise weed have been scaled back after a review with the EU. The country had planned to become one of the “best legal weed markets in the world”, with rules set to decriminalise possession of small amounts of the substance and as well as allowing sales in licensed shops.

However, officials have said the latter would need to be tested as a pilot in smaller regional areas first.

While some argue that changes such as this have the benefit of keeping drug use and crime down, addiction experts have warned of the ramifications legalisation of cannabis will have on addiction and how much people use the substance.

As part of a new report, the data experts at private rehab clinic Delamere have analysed the different cannabis regulations around the world and revealed the legal consequences if you are caught with the substance.

Here is the legal status of cannabis in 40 countries around the world, where it is legal, illegal, decriminalised or unregulated:

  • Argentina – Decriminalised
  • Australia – Decriminalised
  • Austria – Decriminalised
  • Brazil – Illegal
  • Canada – Legal
  • Croatia – Decriminalised
  • Czech Republic – Decriminalised
  • Egypt – Illegal
  • France – Illegal
  • Georgia – Legal
  • Germany – Illegal
  • Greece – Illegal
  • Hong Kong – Illegal
  • India – Illegal
  • Indonesia – Illegal
  • Iran – Illegal
  • Ireland – Illegal
  • Italy – Decriminalised
  • Japan – Illegal
  • Kenya – Illegal
  • Malaysia – Illegal
  • Malta – Legal
  • Morocco – Illegal
  • Netherlands – Decriminalised
  • Pakistan -Illegal
  • Saudi Arabia – Illegal
  • Singapore – Illegal
  • South Africa – Legal
  • Spain – Decriminalised
  • Sweden – Illegal
  • Switzerland – Decriminalised
  • Taiwan – Illegal
  • Thailand – Legal
  • Tunisia -Illegal
  • Turkey -Illegal
  • United Arab Emirates – Illegal
  • United Kingdom – Illegal
  • United States – 30% of states have decriminalised or legalised the use of cannabis in America

Some countries have chosen to have lighter restrictions on the recreational use of cannabis, where possession and personal use of the substance are not legal, but means that those caught don’t suffer criminal charges, and may instead be issued with a warning, or fine instead. Some countries where this is the case are Switzerland, Spain, Croatia, Austria and more.

More surprisingly, the Netherlands – which has been known for its decriminalisation of cannabis – has recently introduced laws that will come into effect from May on the use of cannabis. The laws will mean that it will soon be illegal to smoke the substance on the street in Amsterdam’s famous red light district after residents complained of disruption caused by tourists in the city.

In countries like France, cannabis has been banned for recreational use but still allows it for medical purposes.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have countries that have banned all use of the substance altogether and could see people face serious legal consequences for even possession or personal use such as in Hong Kong. In the country, anyone found with the substance could face prison time and up to HK$ 1 million fine.

Other countries take the use of cannabis even more seriously such as Iran, where capital punishment can be given as a sentence if you are found in possession of hashish over 5kg – a drug derived from the Cannabis plant.

Dr Catherine Carney has shared her thoughts on cannabis legality around the world: “Many individuals claim – or have been led to believe – that cannabis is not addictive when this could not be further from the truth. In fact, some studies indicate that 1 in 10 individuals who use cannabis become dependent.

“Taking this into account, it’s hardly surprising that the widespread use of the drug, alongside ongoing discussions around its legalisation, is a worrying concern to those with firsthand experience of the dangers cannabis can pose. Addiction becomes increasingly likely the more a person consumes, as their brain adapts to be able to tolerate larger and stronger amounts of the substance over a period of time.

“Moving away from a reliance on cannabis can be a long and difficult path, as taking the drug away will encourage a multitude of withdrawal symptoms in many users. On the other hand, if a person continues to consume the drug, the signs and symptoms of cannabis intoxication will become more severe. These can include slurred speech, compromised memory, mood swings, poor attention span, and increased levels of anxiety.

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