Legal or not? Where is weed legal? You might be surprised to learn that, in many countries and jurisdictions around the world, cannabis sativa (weed) is either fully legal or at least decriminalized. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why weed has been legalized in some places and what you can expect if you go there.
Why is Marijuana Illegal?
The reasons why weed is illegal vary from country to country. Where marijuana remains a criminal offense, it’s often due to the fact that its cultivation and possession are deemed harmful to society . Where cannabis sativa use has been banned for religious or cultural purposes , there may be some truth in these claims. However, one should also consider whether the health and social harms of prohibition are greater than the potential risks associated with marijuana use.
In countries where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use, the reasons for legalization are typically based on public health and safety concerns. It is now recognized that cannabis is much less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legally available in most countries.
Negative Effects of Marijuana
While marijuana is not as harmful as alcohol or tobacco, it can still have negative effects on the user. These may include impaired judgement and motor skills, anxiety, paranoia, and a decreased ability to think clearly. Where weed is legal for medical use, these risks should be weighed against the potential benefits of using cannabis sativa.
Marijuana also has several physical and mental health risks. Where cannabis sativa use has been linked to lung cancer, it’s important that individuals do not smoke marijuana in a manner similar to cigarettes. Where weed is legal for medical purposes , patients will likely be using vaporizers or other devices which heat the substance without producing harmful smoke .
It should also be noted that marijuana can be addictive , and that regular use may lead to dependence. Where cannabis sativa is legal, it’s important that users understand the risks associated with its use, and take steps to minimize these risks.
Arguments For Legalization of Weed: Why should Marijuana be Legalized?
There are a number of reasons why marijuana should be legalized.
- Where weed is currently illegal, the black market for cannabis products is often controlled by criminal gangs and drug cartels. This results in billions of dollars being generated from the sale of marijuana each year, which fuels organized crime and corruption.
- In countries where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use, marijuana can be regulated and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco. Where weed is legal for recreational use, it can also help stimulate the economy. In Colorado, where cannabis sativa was legalized for recreational purposes in 2012 , there has been an increase of more than $400 million USD in economic activity .
- In addition to generating revenue, legalizing weed could also help reduce the number of people being incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. Where cannabis sativa remains illegal, there are currently many arrests and convictions for possession each year . These include hundreds of thousands of people who have never used or sold drugs but were found in possession them as a result of prohibition laws that target drug users rather than dealers.
- Legalizing weed would also help reduce the social and health harms associated with its use. Where cannabis sativa is currently illegal, it can be difficult for people to find information about its safe use. This can lead to people using marijuana in an unsafe manner or taking other harmful substances such as synthetic cannabinoids (K-Cups). Where marijuana is legal for medical use, it can also be safe to drive or operate heavy machinery after using weed. Where cannabis sativa remains illegal and users are unable to obtain accurate information about its effects , driving under the influence of weed could result in accidents .
- Where weed is currently illegal, people who have a legitimate need for access to medicinal marijuana cannot always get it. This has led to cases of people being denied the medication they need, even when it is legal in their country .
- Legalizing weed would help ensure that everyone who needs access to marijuana for medical reasons can obtain it safely and legally. It would also allow researchers to conduct more studies on the potential benefits and risks of cannabis sativa . Where weed is illegal, it can be difficult for researchers to legally obtain marijuana. This has led to a lack of scientific research on cannabis sativa and many people are unaware of the potential benefits and risks associated with its use.
- Where legal restrictions currently prevent scientists from conducting research into the effects of marijuana , legalization would enable them to conduct studies that could help provide answers to questions about safety, dosage and the best ways to use cannabis sativa. Where weed is legal for medical or recreational purposes , it can also be much safer to drive vehicles under its influence than when drunk .
- Legalization would also reduce some of the health risks associated with smoking marijuana. Where users are able to obtain high-quality marijuana, they are less likely to smoke carcinogenic substances. Where cannabis sativa is currently illegal, it can be difficult for people to find information about its safe use . This can lead to people using marijuana in an unsafe manner or taking other harmful substances such as synthetic cannabinoids (K-Cups).
- Where weed is legal for medical purposes, it can also be safe to drive or operate heavy machinery after using weed. Where cannabis sativa remains illegal and users are unable to obtain accurate information about its effects, driving under the influence of weed could result in accidents.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
Cannabis sativa has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Marijuana is now legal for medical use in countries such as Canada, Australia, and many of the European Union member states . In these places, it can be prescribed by a doctor to treat conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy , and multiple sclerosis .
- Marijuana has been found to reduce the number and severity of seizures in people with epilepsy. Where weed is legal , it can be used as a treatment for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- The anti-nausea, pain relief, and appetite stimulation effects of cannabis sativa have also made it an effective tool in treating diseases such as glaucoma , AIDS, and liver disease .
While further research is needed, there is growing evidence that marijuana may be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In countries where cannabis sativa is legal for medical use, it can be prescribed to patients who are not responding to other medications
How Many States Have Decriminalized Weed?
Weed is legal in some form in over half of the United States, with California leading the charge as the first state to legalize recreational cannabis in 1996. Since then, many other states have followed suit, either through legislative action or by ballot initiative. As of January 2019, weed is fully legalized for both medical and recreational use in 11 US states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada New Hampshire , Oregon Vermont and Washington.
Another 16 states have passed legislation allowing for medical marijuana use only: Alabama (full legalization expected in 2020), Arizona Arkansas , Connecticut Florida Delaware Hawaii Illinois Maryland , Minnesota Montana North Dakota Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island and West Virginia . In addition to these, the US territory of Puerto Rico allows use and possession of cannabis for medical purposes.
In addition to the states where weed is legal, many more have decriminalized its use. This means that possession of a small amount of cannabis is treated as a civil offense rather than a criminal one. In most cases, offenders are subject to fines rather than jail time. As of January 2019, 29 US states have decriminalized weed in some form.
While possession of small amounts is decriminalized, you will still be charged for its sale or distribution. Where weed is legal in the United States, it’s only allowed to be sold by licensed retailers and supplied by special growers who are legally authorized to produce cannabis products such as oils and edibles . This means that if you arrive at an airport or cross a state border with weed in your possession, you could still be arrested and charged.
What About The Rest of The World?
Weed is fully or partially legal in over 30 countries around the world. In some cases, it’s been decriminalized as well. The following list includes countries where cannabis sativa is either fully or partially legal:
Countries Where is Weed Legal?
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (partial), Chile (partial), Colombia (partial), Costa Rica (medical only), Croatia, Cyprus (medical only), Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland India Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Mexico Moldova Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Paraguay Peru Poland Portugal Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand Ukraine United Kingdom Uruguay USA (partial)
As you can see, the legality of weed varies greatly from country to country. If you’re thinking of traveling to a place where cannabis is legal, be sure to do your research first and know what’s allowed and what’s not. Where weed is legal, it can be purchased and consumed by anyone aged 18 or older . Where cannabis sativa remains illegal, penalties for possession of a small amount vary from fines to jail time depending on the severity of the offense. Where marijuana use has been decriminalized in some form, you’re unlikely to get into trouble with the law for possessing a small amount. However, you should always take caution when traveling with weed and be aware of the laws in the place you’re visiting.
Medical Marijuana and Marijuana Legalization
Medical marijuana is legal in an increasing number of US states, Canada, and several other countries. Where medical weed is allowed by law , patients can purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries with a prescription . Where medical marijuana has been legalized for recreational use as well , adults aged 18 or older have the right to grow their own plants at home and possess up to a certain amount of weed.
A list of Countries Where Medical Marijuana is Legal
Albania, Australia, Canada (partial), Chile (partial), Colombia (partial), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus (medical only), Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland India Israel Italy Jamaica Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Mexico Moldova Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Paraguay Peru Poland Portugal Romania Russia Slovakia Slovenia South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand Ukraine United Kingdom Uruguay USA (partial).
As of now, there are a number of countries and jurisdictions where weed is legal. This is likely to change in the future, as more and more countries explore the possibility of legalizing cannabis. It’s important to keep up with the latest developments in this area, so that you can stay informed on marijuana laws around the world.