As the United States leads the march of legal medical marijuana, Canada follows in close pursuit. With laws recently passed in Canada that now allow all forms of medical marijuana to be consumed, laws are becoming less rigid as more and more people discover the promising benefits the plant holds for countless medical conditions.
These neighboring countries aren’t the only ones looking towards a future full of medical marijuana. Ganja’s going global and more and more countries are in the wake of the trail the US is blazing. Countries worldwide have their eyes set on Colorado and Washington to see just how well these states (and their citizens) are doing when it comes to legal recreational and medical marijuana.
As all eyes stay set on these US states, there isn’t much mention of other countries that have taken heed to what’s happening on the legal medical marijuana front. Just twenty years ago the mere mention of marijuana legalization in many countries was taboo. The times however, are definitely changing and the global march for legalized medical merry jane is undoubtedly on.
So what does medical marijuana look like around the world outside of the US and Canada? Take a look at how other countries feel (and what they have done) as medical marijuana sweeps the globe.
7 Countries Where Medical Marijuana Policy is Changing
As the only country in the world that has fully legalized cannabis, Uruguay is a strong supporter of medical marijuana. Although this South American country is the only one where you can legally smoke weed, prices for medical marijuana hold somewhat of a controversy. In a twist to Uruguay’s fully legal status, it’s expected that medical marijuana may soon cost more than that sold recreationally. Right now marijuana runs about $1/gram. If things go as some are suspecting they will, medical marijuana could soon cost patients even more than recreational smokers.
Marijuana is used widely in India and although it’s been used for centuries, it is banned throughout the entire country presumably for its intoxicating attributes. Legal in India until 1986, marijuana has been used both spiritually and medically for hundreds of years. And although it is illegal to possess, there is a bit of a contradiction in India’s marijuana policies. Yes it’s illegal, but it is also legal for medicinal use. This inconsistency in India’s marijuana legislation is a paradox seen by both medical marijuana advocates and law officials alike. As more people demand changes in legislation in India concerning medical marijuana, there’s no doubt that more research will be conducted and India will soon join ranks with other countries pushing for full and comprehensive medical marihuana legality.
Although medical marihuana is “accepted” in the South American country of Argentina, it is not backed by federal law. Legalization in Uruguay and other countries that back medical marihuana however, have advocates hopeful that Argentinian officials will soon reform their policies. Argentina’s drug czar noted after Uruguay legalized marihuana that his country should consider following their lead.
While there are countless folk that assume marihuana has always been legal in Jamaica, this isn’t the case in the slightest. Marihuana has been decidedly illegal in Jamaica for years, but things are definitely changing. Leaders of Jamaica recently made laws much more lenient when it comes to possession and also decriminalized medical marihuana and marihuana used in religious ceremonies. Changes in both recreational and medical marihuana policy may also soon be seen from Rastafari in-house leaders who are adamant about shifting current marihuana policies.
- Czech Republic
In early 2013, the Czech Republic became one of the only European countries that have legalized medical marihuana. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for patients to find their medicine as there aren’t any regulated dispensaries like we see in the US. Decriminalization in the young country has made it legal to grow up to five plants and possess up to 15 grams. Medical marihuana though, as legal as it may be, still must be purchased from the black market and underground sources. This will hopefully soon change so patients in the Czech Republic can get the quality medicine they deserve without being exposed to the dangers of buying it on the street.
This beautiful South African country is actually the world’s top producer of hash, with a population so dependent on sales of the substance that it’s estimated to be responsible for 10% of its economy. And although it’s not legal, it soon might be. Both political parties in Morocco have been discussing the benefits of legalizing industrial and medical marihuana. They believe that it would not only increase the economy, but would also help regulate and make things easier for farmers who depend on marihuana crops for survival. Medical marihuana in Morocco looms legal on the horizon, and many believe it is only a matter of time before they are the next country to get rid of outdated marihuana policy.
Known as one of the strictest countries regarding drug laws, medical (and recreational) marijuana is still very illegal in this country that borders marijuana “friendly” America to the north. This could be changing however. In September 2016, an eight year-old epileptic patient was granted the right to use medical marijuana to control her severe seizures. This is the first granted medical marijuana case in the country of Mexico, spurring hope amongst a nation ruled by a president who opposes any legalization of marijuana at all.
As the march toward legal medical marijuana moves forward, many countries are beginning to see just how well it’s working for others. There’s no doubt there’s a lot happening in the world of medical marijuana and it’s something that’s happening worldwide. As we all know, we’re in the infancy stages of medical marijuana reform, and as other countries around the world begin to legalize and decriminalize cannabis there’s a possibility that we’ll soon see total global transformation of medical marijuana.