Decriminalize Cannabis
Decriminalize Cannabis

Decriminalizing Cannabis Around The World in 2017

Scores of Countries Are Moving Toward Decriminalizing Cannabis

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Saturday Jan 14, 2017

When the World Goes Green


As the legalization process in the states of the USA is going forward at a steady rate, more countries in 2016 have also legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.  Marijuana, probably the most talked-about, consumed, trafficked and produced drug in the world.



As far back as 1976 already, countries like Portugal and the Netherlands were already experimenting with decriminalization and respecting personal choices. In the Netherlands it is fully legal and there are designated areas like coffee shops and more, where you can shop and use it. Selling and transporting marijuana will still get you in trouble, though. Portugal is the first country in the world that legalized all drugs in 2001. In this country you are allowed to carry 25 grams of marijuana with you.



In 2016 Canada also regulated and legalized marijuana. Uruguay also followed. Ireland, Jamaica, Australia and Germany were not far behind. Jamaica was a bit of a surprise as everyone thought that decriminalization happened long ago in this country. Citizens are now allowed to grow 5 plants for personal and religious use.



In Australia permission is given to apply for a license to manufacture or cultivate marijuana products for medicinal purposes and related research. The Colombian president has signed a decree that allow cultivation, import and export of medical marijuana and consumption and make it legal.



In Chile, private use of marijuana has been decriminalized already since 2005. Now, in 2016, the Chilean congress has approved a bill permitting locals to grow their own small amount for recreational, spiritual or medical use.



On the African continent South Africa is getting closer to legalize marijuana but it is still pending. Countries like Egypt, Ghana, Gabon, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Ethiopia and Morocco still see marijuana as illegal, but law enforcement is very low and groups have been known to lobby their governments to legalize.



legalize cannabis fight crime


Why decriminalization is worth looking into



When possession of all drugs were decriminalized in 2001 in Portugal, it helped users and drug dealers not to be dragged into the legal black hole drug dealers and users are so familiar with in the Americas.



Legalization helps to protect the user. The same cannot be said of regulation though. Regulation often insulates growers and sellers with access to the market and keeps competition away. Government taxes and rules make it hard and sellers and growers without access to money are moved to stay in the black market. In the USA, where federal law still stands, cannabis business owners do not have access to legal funding and there are not many options left to find legal financial aid. Apart from that, they are also not allowed to make use of tax reduction and tax credit. They carry all the costs of running a business, but they have no tax breaks. That means they can effectively pay taxes as high as 70%. This makes it very difficult for the smaller businessperson to start a business.



What countries are next expected to legalize marijuana in the near future?


Some countries are showing signs that they will soon follow Uruguay’s example in full legalization.


  • Jamaica is a country that recently decriminalized and partially allows possession, but full legalization should soon follow.
  • Spain is interesting as it is still illegal to consume or possess in private, but it has cannabis social clubs and they are becoming very prominent in Barcelona.
  • Czech Republic is another country in the scope. Medical Cannabis has already been decriminalized since April 2013. Cultivation up to 5 plants is allowed for personal use and recreational cannabis is very common and casual.
  • Colombia is a country that for more than 40 years had a war on drugs. The Colombian president is recognizing the positive effects of legalization in the USA and admits that the war on drugs is a failure and new options need to be looked for.
  • Costa Rica has already decriminalized possession and the use of marijuana but cultivation is still off limits.
  • Portugal has already decriminalized all drugs and as a result has seen a remarkable drop in drug addiction of more than 50 %. They don’t see drug addiction as a criminal offence, but rather a public health concern.
  • Peru has consumption and possession up to 8 grams legal for citizens, but selling and production is still considered illegal.
  • Switzerland has decriminalized small amount of marijuana already. A person can grow up to 4 plants for personal consumption and legalization looks like a natural step.
  • Mexico is a natural choice for legalization. As Colombia it also suffered from heave wars on drugs with no real success. Two bills are already introduced in Mexico City for decriminalization and medical use and if they pass, legalization should soon follow.
  • Canada has long gone embrace the medical marijuana concept but still has to settle for the legalization of recreational marijuana.


The winds are changing and the world is waking up. Soon the world will learn the benefits of going green.





Stoner Planitarium



Leonardo The Flood

What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: