This site is, as you know, mostly concerned with medical marijuana use in the United States of America, where 14 states currently allow cannabis as a medication for a variety of illnesses. However, where do you stand legally when you travel outside of the USA? In the following few posts we’ll give an overview of the current state of play regarding international cannabis laws.
Cannabis is classified as a controlled drug in Argentina however, in August 2009, the Supreme Court declared the prosecution of the private use of cannabis to be unconstitutional
- Australian Capital Territory: Possession of up to 25gms of cannabis or two plants carries a fine of 100 Australian Dollars; however, it is not a criminal offense.
- South Australia: Fines range from 150 to 300 Australian dollars for possession and/or cultivation of small amounts. It is a criminal offense to possess or cultivate marijuana.
- Western Australia: Possession of more than two plants for private use attracts fines in excess of 150 Australian dollars.
- New South Wales & Tasmania: Cannabis use is illegal
- Queensland: Cannabis possession and use is illegal and carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is also a criminal offense.
Police do not see prosecution for marijuana use as a high priority, providing that it is used in private. Possessing more than 3 grams can see you in court, as can selling weed. The Belgian government are supportive of research into medical marijuana and are well-disposed to decriminalisation.
Cannabis sativa is controlled and it is illegal to possess, distribute or cultivate any parts of the plant. Strangely, however, no other cannabis species are listed – although THC appears as a separate entity, leading to the conclusion that all cannabis plants must be illegal. Apparently cannabis prohibition is not strenuously enforced.
According to a report in the Standard Times in February of this year, Bulgaria is among the top cannabis producers in Europe. However cannabis plants containing greater than 0.2% THC by weight are illegal to grow, possess or sell.
The Marijuana Medical Access Regulations were declared unconstitutional because they do not allow seriously ill Canadians to use marijuana as there is no legal source of supply. Basically, although the MMAR gives patients the rights to use medical cannabis, it does not set up the legal apparatus for legally obtaining the medicine. Detailed advice is given for Canadian citizens (see the link above), if you are a medical marijuana patient considering travelling in Canada, contact the Office of Cannabis Medical Access (OCMA) or Medical Marihuana Access Division
Cultivation and sale of cannabis attracts a prison sentence of three or more years. Furthermore, if you are found driving under the influence of cannabis (saliva test) you may lose your license and be compelled to go into rehab.
Cannabis consumption is legal but the possession laws vary between states. As a rule of thumb, possession of less than 5 grams of resin or herb is not prosecuted. Northern states are, apparently, more permissive than the southern states.