In 2013, the South American nation became the first to allow recreational cannabis use nationwide.

You can buy marijuana plants for your home or purchase it from a local pharmacy. Or you could join a club to get cannabis supplies.

You can legally store and use cannabis in your home. But, you must register with the government to purchase it. Users are restricted to only buying 4 strains that have low levels of THC and limited to 10 grams per week.

The law was approved in 2013. However, the government did not license pharmacies to distribute cannabis until 2017. An examination in 2017 revealed that the majority of users continue to buy cannabis from illegal dealers.


Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government was the second in 2018 to legalize recreational marijuana use nationwide.

Adults in Canada can currently possess up to 30 grams, grow up four cannabis plants, make edibles, or buy marijuana products from licensed shops.

A woman smokes marijuana during a legalisation party in 2018, after Justin Trudeau's government made recreational use of the drug legal

After Justin Trudeau made marijuana legalized, a woman uses it to smoke.

Between April 2019 & March 2020, $24 million was collected by the government from taxes on marijuana products. However, this is far below what was expected. The government has also reduced law enforcement costs, with possession charges dropping to near zero.

South Africa

In 2018, South Africa legalized cannabis for recreational use after a ruling by the Constitution Court.

The law allows adults to possess and grow cannabis, as long as it is not consumed or used for personal purposes.

THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, can also be legal provided that it’s not processed and comes as raw products.

Public consumption, sale or use of cannabis products and minors’ cannabis consumption are all illegal offenses that can land you up to 25 years imprisonment.


2018 Constitutional Court rulings effectively legalized the recreational use of marijuana in small ex-Soviet countries.

The constitution guarantees that a person has the right to grow and possess cannabis in their private property. Judges have ruled this is the case. 

However, the large-scale cultivation and sale of cannabis remains illegal with law-breakers facing up  to 14 years in jail. 


In a 2019 Supreme Court decision, cannabis consumption and cultivation at home was made illegal. The court ruled that the laws prohibiting it were both unconstitutional as well as violating personal rights.

It is still illegal to grow cannabis on a large scale and sell it commercially. Also, carrying over five grams of the drug is prohibited.

Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that personal cultivation and consumption of marijuana is legal, but attempts to legalise the commercial market have stalled

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled personal cultivation and use of marijuana legal. However, attempts to legalize the market for commercial cannabis have been blocked by Mexican courts

Right now, lawmakers are working on legislation to legalize commercial cultivation of large amounts and to increase the possession limit to 28g.

However, the law is not popularly supported and has been stalled by parliament. The future of this legislation remains unclear. 

United States

Though marijuana possession is illegal according to federal law, sixteen states in America have legalized recreational marijuana use within their borders.

While laws may vary by state, generally speaking, users of such states can cultivate cannabis and consume it on their private property. They also have the right to purchase licensed dispensaries.

Capitol Hill is working to legalize fully the drug. There are also rival Republican and Democrat plans being considered.

The issue is not on the forefront of legislative priorities, and few people expect a significant change to the law anytime soon.


Although long associated with cannabis culture, possession of small quantities of marijuana was made illegal in the Caribbean.

Rastafarians believe that the cannabis plant has sacred properties and are allowed unlimited smoking for their sacramental purposes.

The plants can be grown by others, but it’s not legal to do so at your home.

A fine is assessed for those who are caught with large amounts of the drug, except if they can prove a medical exemption.


Portugal is well-known for its aggressive approach to drug policies. However, marijuana in Portugal has been legalized since 2001.

Practically, this means someone caught with the drug in their possession will face no criminal punishment but they can have it confiscated. They also could be subject to a variety of other sanctions.

They can be anything from community service or paying fines to attending rehabilitation clinics.


The Netherlands, which is known for its many coffee shops is not legal to possess cannabis. Instead it is tolerated by the government.

Although licensed shops may sell as much as 5g per individual per day, they are prohibited from advertising their products or selling other intoxicants like alcohol.

Though Amsterdam's coffee shops are famous, cannabis is officially illegal in the Netherlands with the drug merely 'tolerated' by the government

Although Amsterdam is famous for its coffee shops, marijuana in the Netherlands is illegal. The government only tolerates the drug. 

It is also illegal to sell marijuana to anyone outside the country. However, Amsterdam’s enforcement of this law is weak. More than half the visitors said that the availability of cannabis was an important reason they came to Amsterdam.

Critics claim that this half-way house model has led to the destruction of society, encouraging antisocial behavior and drug tourism while funding gangs responsible for much of commercial cultivation.