Jun 29, 2016 9:15 AM

How Many States Have Legalized Marijuana or Where in the World Is Cannabis Decriminalized?

The laws are constantly changing. Every day, we read news about one or another country or state trying to legalize or decriminalize marijuana use. This constant change of laws may be confusing for people. It is often hard to say exactly what the laws concerning cannabis are in some country. So, let us take a cannabis trip around the globe and see what states have legalized weed.

Fully Legalized

Unfortunately, there are only a few countries and states where the use of cannabis is legal whether it is consumed for medical purposes or recreationally. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the consumption, cultivation, and possession of marijuana. However, both possession and cultivation are allowed only for personal use. This way, the government tries to regulate the market.

The U.S. does not allow cannabis use on the federal level; however, there are a few states that have already legalized the plant's use. Today, you can freely smoke weed in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and in the capital—Washington D.C.


While the legalization of marijuana is still not very widespread, there are a lot more countries and states that have already decriminalized the possession of cannabis. There are 15 states just in the U.S. that allow the possession of these herbs. The amount of allowed cannabis varies from state to state. For example, such states as Nevada, California, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Delaware, Vermont, and California have decriminalized 28 grams per person. Ohio allows to have as much as 100 grams, and for Maryland, the amount is only 10 grams.

Next, let us take a look at the rest of the world. The following countries decriminalized the possession of a moderate amount of cannabis: Virgin Islands (28 grams), Columbia (22 grams), Czech Republic (15 grams), Ecuador (10 grams), Peru (8 grams), Netherlands (6 grams to consume in a coffeeshop), Russia (6 grams), Ukraine (5 grams), Austria (5 grams), Belgium (3 grams), Greece (½ gram).

While the above-mentioned countries decriminalized all cannabis use, there are also countries around the world that decided to decriminalize cannabis use only for medical purposes. The list includes such countries as

  • Israel
  • Macedonia
  • Puerto Rico
  • Serbia
  • Columbia
  • Australia
  • Italy

Local authorities of 25 states of the U.S. also reached the decision to decriminalize medical use of cannabis. To be able to use marijuana in these states and countries, you have to qualify as a patient who is in need of this type of treatment. Usually, cannabis treatment is left as the last resort if a patient is unresponsive to the traditional remedies. In the U.S., for example, you have to get a medical cannabis card (which you can do even online.)

Here are a few tips that will help you acquire a medical card:

5 Tips to Help You Obtain Your First Medical Cannabis Card
5 Tips to Help You Obtain Your First Medical Cannabis Card
Almost half of America's states have legalized marijuana. Some states have quite strict laws about obtaining medical cannabis cards, with only a few medical conditions that qualify for this treatment. Other states decided to make the process of getting a medical marijuana card a bit simpler.

Unfortunately, there are many places around the globe that consider marijuana highly illegal, including even some states in the U.S. If you plan on visiting a country and are uncertain about its laws, we recommend you to do some browsing first. Look for specific information about the place you are going to stay in and rely only on official sources because there are as many differences in the world's laws as there are cannabis strains created to this day.

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