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harsh drug laws

15 Countries With The Harshest Drug Laws

Countries Where You Shouldn’t Even Think About Buying Cannabis

Posted by:
Nanci Chi-Town on Thursday Sep 14, 2017

Countries Where You Shouldn’t Even Think About Buying Cannabis



If you think it’s bad enough to live in a state with no access to legal cannabis, you’ll think twice about even looking for it when you travel to any of these places. While there are definitely some countries around the world that are heaven for cannabis enthusiasts, the others are, well… just not as friendly. Deadly, in fact.


When you compare these countries’ sentences to the sentences in the United States, you’ll see that Americans actually have it pretty good – just in the comparative sense. These figures come from, which analyzed drug laws in 44 countries around the world. It’s pretty clear that the strictest nation in the world so far is the United Arab Emirates, where drug possession would land you in jail anywhere from 4 to 15 years. This isn’t even including the death penalty imposed by other countries.


Without further ado:


  1. Dubai is known for notorious for their intolerance of any kind of drug use and abuse. Even prescription drugs which are legal in other countries can land you in jail if you’re caught with them in Dubai. Drug offenders can be sentenced anywhere from four years to having to face deportation. If you fail a drug test, this is grounds for incarceration even if you aren’t caught in possession of any drugs.
  2. Saudi Arabia and drug use almost always equates to the death penalty. Judicial authorities in Saudi Arabia make no exceptions when it comes to drugs. Alcohol alone is illegal; possession and use of both drugs and alcohol is punishable by fines, public flogging, lengthy imprisonment, and even death.
  3. Iran is generally intolerant of any kind of criminal offense, including drugs. Even there where opium use is already a problem because its neighbor Afghanistan is a top producer of the drug, there are no exceptions. Punishment for drug possession in Iran can range from a hefty fine to death penalty.
  4. Singapore authorities can convict you of drug trafficking if you are caught with small amounts. Those caught selling drugs in Singapore are sentenced to death.
  5. Thailand authorities may put traffickers to death, while drug users may be sent to mandatory rehab.
  6. Vietnam takes drug crimes seriously. Being caught with even small amounts of drugs can end up with a death penalty.
  7. Malaysia is known to fine drug traffickers with the death penalty. Getting caught with drugs in your possession can land you in jail or are grounds for deportation. Drunk driving is also punished severely in Malaysia.
  8. China sends drug users to mandatory rehab in a government-run facility. It’s not uncommon for authorities to execute users and traffickers after found being guilty of drug crimes.
  9. Japan punishes drug use and possession with up to 5 years in prison including a fine. Getting caught growing, selling, or transporting drugs can end up with up to 10 years in prison and a fine.
  10. Laos charges those guilty of drug possession and trafficking with hefty fines, or long periods in prison.
  11. In the Philippines, drug traffickers are sentenced to the death penalty. Getting caught with over a third of an ounce of drugs is grounds enough to accuse you of drug trafficking in the Philippines.
  12. North Korea may be a country that doesn’t really welcome tourists although there are tour groups that can help you visit the ascetic country. Bringing drugs into North Korea can end up with a harsh sentence in a prison camp where you will not have any contact with any friends or family. It will also be almost impossible for the United States government to intervene if you land in a North Korean jail.
  13. Turkey sentences drug users with long prison terms and large fines. The penalties for drug selling and trafficking are even stricter in Turkey.
  14. Colombia sends people to extremely unpleasant jails for long periods of time if found with drugs. Many tourists get caught in this trap because of the country’s reputation for cocaine production, but even cannabis use or possession can land you in jail. It’s not uncommon for the Colombian cops to make several arrests a day at the airports, where they end up catching many foreigners.
  15.  Costa Rica, just like with other South American countries, tosses people in jail for long periods of time when found guilt of drug possession.


Have you ever gotten caught in another country for a cannabis-related crime? What happened?









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