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Ten of the world’s more cannabis-friendly countries
Fancy going on holiday but want to be able to relax and have the occasional joint while there and not run the risk of only making it as far as airport security before you end up spending longer than anticipated in that country?
Tolerance of cannabis is beginning to reach further and further afield, and many of the countries you will see here only a few years ago would have happily locked you up and thrown away the key.
Times are different, and with the resources of so many police forces stretched to the limit, their attention, and that of the courts, tends to be more heavily focused on the sharp end of the drug world, the dealers.
So, while we have to ask you to double check before you book your flights – the last thing we want is to receive a letter from you sent from some jail in a far-away country complaining that we got our facts wrong – here are ten countries where you are pretty safe to light up a joint in public.
Top of the list has to come Uruguay as this was the first country in the world to legalise cannabis, all the way back in 2013.
However, before you decide to go there on holiday, perhaps better to think of moving there permanently as it is only legal for citizens and you have to buy your drugs through a pharmacy (where else!).
Canada was the next country to legalise cannabis, though where you can smoke it and who you can buy it from varies from state to state.
Peru turns a blind eye to recreational use of marijuana, but only ever have enough for personal use on you.
In Spain you can grow cannabis quite legally, as long as its not for sale. Private consumption is acceptable, but selling it in any form is illegal. However, to circumvent many of the rules, the country has over 800 ‘private’ cannabis clubs for members only.
Interestingly and contrary to popular belief, cannabis has not been legalised in the Netherlands, but the law turns a blind eye. Only residents can buy cannabis, though coffee shops are exempt from this rule.
Only this last September did South Africa legalise cannabis, both for private growth and consumption.
While you might be tempted to put the United States on this list, it isn’t the whole country. In fact, the laws vary so much from state to state that by the time you’re watching this, the law will probably have changed in half a dozen of them!
There’s a subtle difference between decriminalising and legalising cannabis. In many countries, the use of cannabis has been decriminalised, which means you will break the law if you smoke it, but you won’t get arrested.
This applies to countries like Jamaica, Costa Rica and Belize, Portugal, Switzerland and Croatia.
The trick with all lenient countries is not to stuff your pockets full of the stuff, but instead keep less than 10g in your pocket at any time. Any more and you start wandering into dealer territory, which the law takes a very different view of.
Did we miss any off the list, do let us know in the comment section below!