' Erowid Cannabis Vault : Legal Status
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Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
Schedule I
Likely Federally Legalized before 2020
The Cannabis plant (listed as "Marihuana") and its major active chemicals including delta-9-THC (listed as "Tetrahydrocannabinols") are Schedule I in the United States. This means they are federally illegal to buy, possess, cultivate, synthesize, or distribute (sell, trade or give) in all forms (cannabis plants, extracts, hash, hash oil, THC, wax, etc.). In one of the incoherent curiosities of the current Controlled Substances Act, a specific synthetic THC (dronabinol; Marinol) is Schedule III. This means THC is both without a "currently accepted medical use" and has a fully FDA-approved medical use.

Practically, simple possession of small amounts is almost never prosecuted federally. Arrests and punishments for cannabis-related offenses are based on state and local law. For state-by-state laws, see below.

In 2015, the legal status of cannabis in the United States is rapidly changing towards legalization for recreational and medical use. Several states have already set up legal regulatory systems to allow for the growing and distribution of cannabis inside their borders. These remain in a legal gray area with regard to federal law, and many major U.S. politicians are now saying they will support removal of cannabis from Schedule I, allowing states to choose its legal status. Most non-idealogical expert observers believe that cannabis is well on its way to becoming fully legalized and regulated in most U.S. states in the next decade.

History of US Cannabis Law
The federal scheduling of Cannabis was disputed in 1988 by Judge Francis Young, an administrative law judge for the DEA, who recommended that marijuana be reclassified as schedule II on the grounds that if a respectable minority of doctors endorse it, then it has a "currently accepted medical use". Full text of Judge Young's ruling]

Historical Laws
Text of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
The history of the Marihuana Tax Act

Cannabis has many reported and demonstrated medical uses. Its most active component (THC) is an approved drug in the United States and the second most active drug in the plant, Cannabidiol (CBD), is heading towards FDA approval for specific indications. Starting in 1975, after losing a court case, the US government was forced to provide a small number of people with medical cannabis based on "medical necessity". Although closed to new applicants in 1992, it is another example of the confusing question of cannabis's medical value. The US Congress has defined through legislation that it has no medical use, but that has never been fully true, and is now just a bizarre historical error encoded into law, policy, and public educational programs. As of November 2015, 23 states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for medical use. See NORML's Medical Marijuana by State and the Congressional Research Service's Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies (Eddy 2010) for a review of the legal history of medical cannabis in the United States.

Alaska #
In November 2014, Alaska passed a voter initiative legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for those 21 and older. The new law allows possession up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants. It creates a legal market and legalizes cannabis-related paraphernalia. See http://ballotpedia.org/Alaska_Marijuana_Legalization,_Ballot_Measure_2_%282014%29. Previously, the Alaska Supreme Court and lower courts had ruled that personal possession of cannabis was protected by state constitution's privacy clause. As recently as Sep 14, 2004, the AK Supreme Court refused to overturn a unanimous Appellate Court decision that police were not allowed to enter a home simply based on smelling cannabis smoke outside. See Pot vs Privacy, Oct 2003 and Alaska Supreme Court chooses privacy over pot, Sep 2004 and Eric Sterling's Response. The Alaska Legislature passed a law banning cannabis, but a judge struck down the law in July 2006: Judge rules against Alaska marijuana ban law, Jul 2006, AP. ACLU Press Release July 11, 2006 (last updated Nov 9 2015)
California #
Nearly legal for any purpose with the caveat that smoking anything indoors is banned with very few exceptions. Cannabis is fully decriminalized in the state of California and, while a ticket can be issued for its use or possession, it's status as an infraction instead of a crime removes it as a justification for further searches by police.

Penalty for possession reduced to a non-arrestable $100 ticket for under 1 ounce (28.5 grams) on Oct 1, 2010. Previously, possession of one ounce (28.5 grams) or less was treated as a misdeameanor; the new law reduces the penalty for simple possession of an ounce or less of cannabis to an infraction, with a maximum fine of $100. 2010 SB 1449. Possession of "Concentrated cannabis" products are still subject to penalties including imprisonment.

The California Supreme Court has upheld the California Medical Marijuana law (state Prop 215, July 19, 2002). In January 2008, a San Francisco Appeals court ruled that police may not enter and search a home without a warrant simply because they see someone inside smoking cannabis.
"The possession and cultivation of marijuana is no more criminal -- so long as (the law's) conditions are satisfied -- than the possession and acquisition of any prescription drug with a physician's prescription." CA Chief Justice Ronald George.
Individual localities and cities in California have their own unique restrictions.

The city of West Hollywood adopted a policy in June 2006 that suggests police make "investigations, citations, arrests, property seizures, and prosecutions for adult marihuana [sic] offenses the lowest law enforcement priority in West Hollywood". See Council Agenda Entry and LA Times Story.

Berkeley passed two city ordinances "BMI I" and "BMI II" that tells police to make marijuana-law enforcement its lowest priority. See Legal Limbo for Pot Users.

San Francisco : Extremely tolerant of cannabis use. In November 2006, the SF Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance (8-3) making cannabis-related offenses the city police's lowest priority. See SF Eases Pot Enforcement, Nov 22 2006, Stop the Drugwar. See Chapter 12x of the SF Municipal Code, added by Ord. 297-06, File No. 061295, App. 11/29/2006.

Santa Barbara (Prop P, Nov 2006) and Santa Cruz (Measure K) have passed rules making possession of cannabis the lowest enforcement priority for local police. (thanks SR) California appellate courts have ruled that the smell of marijuana alone is not cause for warrantless search because simple possession under an ounce is an infraction, not a crime: the smell of fresh or burning cannabis does not create "exigent circumstances" for a police officer to violate a space protected by an expectation of privacy without a judge's order. See http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20120502_0003391.CA.htm/qx (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Colorado #
Recreational and medical cannabis are legal in Colorado as of early 2014 for those 21 and older. Individuals are allowed to grow plants and regulated businesses can grow and sell cannabis, its concentrates, and orally ingestible food-type preparations. Use in public is outlawed.

On Nov 6, 2012, the state of Colorado passed a voter initiative that legalized growing, distribution, and possession, while still outlawing public use. See http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/. City of Denver votes to legalize possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Although police will still enforce Colorado state law, the city population has clearly expressed that they are disatisfied with the state laws. See Denver Voters OK Marijuana Possession - Nov 2, 2005, AP and Mile High City Legalizes Pot Possession - Nov 2, 2005, AOL News. (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Delaware #
Medical use of cannabis is approved, but recreational use of cannabis in Delaware is a misdemeanor crime. See http://norml.org/laws/item/delaware-penalties. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Florida #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime and no broad medical use has been approved in Florida. Florida has passed a law allowing high CBD / low THC preparations for treating epilepsy. Unlike many states, distribution / sale of under 20grams is only a misdemeanor, with lower penalties for sale than most states. See http://norml.org/laws/item/florida-penalties (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Georgia #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime and no broad medical use has been approved in Georgia. Georiga is one of a number of states that have passed a law allowing high CBD / low THC preparations for treating epilepsy. See http://norml.org/laws/item/georgia-penalties. (last updated Nov 10 2015)
Guam #
Personal possesion of small amounts of cannabis is decriminalized in Guam. In November 2014, Guam passed a medical cannabis initiative requiring the government to draw up rules for how to allow for the sale and possession of cannabis for medical purposes. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/medical-marijuana-advocates-notch-an-early-victory-in-guam/. (Last updated Nov 9 2015)
Idaho #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime in Idaho and no medical use is approved. Idaho's personal-possession limit is higher than most states, with up to three ounces qualifying as a misdemeanor crime. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Illinois #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime in Illinois, although medical use is approved. As of Jan 1, 2014, the medical use of cannabis became legal in Illinois. In 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a medical cannabis law, allowing the legal use, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis for specific medical purposes. The law is restrictive, limiting the number of grow sites, dispensaries, and ailments. See http://www.mpp.org/states/illinois/. For non-medical possession, The non-medical use of cannabis in Illinois is still a crime. Illinois has steep fines and harsh jail sentences, with penalties up to 30 days in jail and up to $1,500 in fines for simple possession of less than 2.5 grams, less than an eight ounce. (last updated Oct 4 2015)
Maryland #
Recreational use of cannabis is decrminalized to a civil offense in Maryland and medical use is approved. Distributing cannabis has harsh penalties associated with it. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Massachusetts #
Personal possession of less than an ounce of cannabis is decriminalized in Massachussets: it is a civil infraction, not a crime. In Nov 2008 voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure to deciminalize possession of up to 1 oz. of cannabis, making such offenses subject to a civil fine of $100. Minors face a $1000 fine and/or a mandatory drug awareness program. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Michigan #
Recreational use is a crime in Michigan, but medical use is allowed. In Nov 2008 a ballot measure passed legalizing the medical use of cannabis, which removed state penalties for registered patients possessing cananbis. It will not create legal dispensaries or affect federal controls on cannabis in the state. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Minnesota #
Recreational use of cannabis is partially decriminalized in Minnesota, although medical cannabis has been approved. Distribution of under 42.5 grams without being paid (friend to friend transactions) are misdemeanors in Minnesota. See http://norml.org/laws/item/minnesota-penalties-2. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Montana #
Recreational use of cannabis is a crime in Montana and no medical use is allowed. In Nov 2006, a local ballot measure in Missoula County was passed that tells law enforcement to make "citations, arrests, property seizures and prosecutions for adult marijuana offenses Missoula County's lowest law enforcement priority." See Helena ir.com. Tthe police are said to be ignoring this rule and have not substantially changed how they handle simple cannabis possession cases. (thanks p) (last updated Oct 1 2015)
New Hampshire #
Recreational use of cannabis is a crime in New Hampshire, though medical use has been approved. (last updated Nov 1 2015)
New Mexico #
Recreational use of cannab is a crime in New Mexico, but it does allow for medical use. New Mexico has the "Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act" allowing medical use of cannabis regulated under the New Mexico Department of Health. See NMDoH: Medical Cannabis Program and Drug Policy Alliance's Page on New Mexico's Law. (last updated may 20 2015)
New York #
Recreational use of cannabis is decriminalized in New York and medical use has been approved. New York decrminalized private possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis to be a civil citation punishable up to $250 + $100 court surcharge. However, posession in public (including hidden in a pocket) is a misdemeanor crime punishable by $500 and 3 months of incarceration. See http://norml.org/laws/penalties/item/new-york-penalties-2. (last updated Jul 19 2015)
North Carolina #
Recreational use of cannabis is partially decriminalized in North Carolina, but has uniquely approved the medical use of high CBD, low THC products for the treatment of epilepsy. Cannabis is listed in Schedule VI, putting it out of step with US federal law. Dronabinol is Schedule II in N. Carolina. [reference] (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Oregon #
Cannabis for recreational use is legal in Oregon, and Oregon was one of the first states to permit medical use. Oregon voters passed a cannabis legalization initiative in November 2014 that would allow possession and growing of cannabis and create a legal market for sale and purchase. The law took effect on July 1, 2015. Households can have up to four live plants. See Marijuana legalization Q&A: What's next for Oregon? (The Oregonian, Nov 2014) and Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 (2014). Curiously, the federal TSA (air travel security agency) announced that carrying up to an ounce of cannabis for in-state flight is allowed. (last updated July 15, 2015)
Pennsylvania #
Neither recreational use nor medical use have been approved or decrminalized in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania also has a zero-limit drugged driving rule, suggesting that any detectable level of any intoxicant when driving could result in prosecution. See http://norml.org/laws/item/pennsylvania-penalties-2. (last updated Nov 14 2015)
Rhode Island #
Recreational use of cannabis is decriminalized in Rhode Island and it has approved medical cannabis. Rhode Island legalized the medical use of cannabis in Jan 2006, overriding a veto of the legislation by Governor Don Carcieri (house vote 59-13). The law allows people with certain illnesses such as cancer to register with the state, receive a special ID card, and then grow up to 12 plants or buy/possess up to 2.5 ounces of dried cannabis. AP story by ML Johnson, Jan 3, 2006. (last updated Oct 14 2015)
Texas #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime in Texas and no medical use has been approved. Texas is one of a number of states with Tax Stamps, a bizarre invention to try to interest tax revenue authorities into investigating cultivation and sale, as well as adding on additional penalties for anyone caught up in the legal system. See http://norml.org/legal/item/texas-tax-stamps. (last updated Nov 1 2015)
Virginia #
Recreational use of cannabis is a misdemeanor crime in Virginia and no broad medical cannabis use is allowed. Virginia is one of several states that has approved a high CBD/low THC preparation for the treatment of epilepsy. See http://norml.org/laws/item/virginia-penalties-2. (last updated Oct 30, 2015)
Vermont #
Recreational use of cannabis is decriminalized in Vermont as a civil infraction and medical use has been approved. See http://norml.org/laws/item/vermont-penalties-2. (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
Washington D.C. #
Recreational use of cannabis is legalized in Washington D.C. and medical use has been approved. In November 2014, DC voters passed initiative 71, legalizing recreational use for those 21 and older. POsession of up to two ounces of cannabis, growing up to six plants, giving up to an ounce, and use of cannabis pipes and paraphernalia. The US Congress can invalidate the initiative because of strange rules regarding the governance of the DC area. See http://ballotpedia.org/Washington_D.C._Marijuana_Legalization,_Initiative_71_%28November_2014%29. (last updated Nov 9 2015)
Washington State #
Recreational use of cannabis is legal in Washington state and the medical use cannabis is approved. Washington has one of the nation's first Drugged Driving rule specifying blood levels of cannabinoids. Washington State passed a voter referendum on November 6, 2012, that created a legal structure for cannabis to be produced, distributed, sold, and used recreationally. The exact rules for how this legalization will be implemented have not yet been finalized. See http://sensiblewashington.org/blog/. In December, 2012, the Seattle Police stated that they would not arrest or cite people for smoking cannabis in public for a month or so: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2012/11/09/marijwhatnow-a-guide-to-legal-marijuana-use-in-seattle/ (last updated Nov 14 2015)
Argentina #
Cannabis possession is decriminalized for small amounts in Argentina. Cannabis is controlled and illegal in Argentina, but a ruling by the Supreme Court in August 2009 declared the prosecution of the private use of cannabis to be unconstitutional. See BBC News Aug 26, 2009. (last updated Aug 26, 2015)
Australia #
Cannabis laws state by state. Decriminalized in Western Australia & South Australia. Tasmania, Victoria, & Queensland policies involve ticketing for below 50 grams. (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Belgium #
No amount of cannabis is legal to possess in Belgium, however possession of up to 3g of cannabis by adults, for personal use, is tolerated. It is also said that 1 female plant is tolerated. We have been told that if the possession meets the informal 'personal use' criteria, the police most often register the offense anonymously (do not record the individual's name) and the state will not prosecute. The criteria for this include: possession of an amount that is consumable in 24 hours (usually 3 grams or less), possession of leaf or bud and not oil or other processed product which are less tolerated; that the use is not around minors or while driving; and other factors that might indicate 'problematic use'. In practice, almost all non-problematic personal users will be registered anonymously. The criteria are described in Het Staatsblad published on June 2, 2003: http://www.staatsbladclip.be/wetten/2003/06/02/wet-2003009496.html and http://www.staatsbladclip.be/wetten/2003/06/02/wet-2003009479.html. Erowid has also been told that a new law to allow for medical use of cannabis has lead the police to be more forgiving about possession of small amounts of non-medicinal cannabis. We have been told that there is no legal way to buy or import cannabis or its seeds. See ejustice.just.fgov.be (French only). (thanks Cholo, CG, FA.) (last updated Aug 2006)
Brazil #
Cannabis possession is criminal, but is not stricly enforced. Cannabis sativa is listed as a controlled substance, making the plant and all of its parts illegal to cultivate, distribute, or possess. Other cannabis species do not appear to be listed, though THC is separately scheduled. Presumably any THC-containing plant is illegal by extension. We have been told that as of 2007 cannabis prohibition is not vigorously enforced. (thanks P) (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Bulgaria #
Cannabis is included in Schedule no. 1 of Bulgaria's Drugs and Precursors Control Act. Plants in the genus Cannabis containing greater than .2% tetrahydrocannabinol by weight are illegal to grow, possess, or sell. (thanks GD)
Canada #
The legal status of recreational and medicinal cannabis are in flux in Canada in 2015. Cannabis is schedule II in Canada (for more than 3 kg), but medical cannabis is legally allowed and regulated by the federal Health Canada. A ruling by a judge in April 2011 has invalidated the law if the ruling is not overturned. See http://www.vancouversun.com/health/ruling%20expected%20face%20federal%20appeal/4613580/story.html. As of April 2011, Cannabis is still controlled in Canada, but the specifics of the control could shift quickly in the coming months. Canada's cannabis control laws are spottily enforced, with the west coast (British Columbia) being well known for its high quality cannabis and low levels of enforcement. In 2002, Canada's federal government made several findings in favor of cannabis legalization and medical use approval. Although the status of medical cannabis is still in flux, the Canadian government has several times voiced its intention to support full medical use. Non-viable Cannabis seeds and Cannabis stalks (that do not include leaves, flowers, seeds or branches) are exempted. British Columbia and Vancouver are shifting policies to officially approve medical cannabis.

On June 24th, 2015, Vancouver's city council voted to license approximately 100 medical marijuana retailers, the first city in Canada to do so. (last updated Nov 15 2015)
Croatia #
Possession of small amounts of cannabis is partially decriminalized in Croatia. Prior to 2013, fines ($500-1000 US), mandatory rehab, and condtional sentencing (probation) were normal for those caught. Cultivation and sale of cannabis are punishable by imprisonment (3 or more years). Driving under the influence of cannabis (as detected by saliva field tests) may lead to fine, rehab, and loss of license. (thanks H) (last updated Nov 10, 2015)
Czech Republic #
In March, 2008 the Czech Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a medical cannabis grower, finding that growing cannabis is not necessarily "illegal production". While cannabis is still illegal to possess, use, and produce under Czech law, this ruling is expected to influence the way drug laws are interpreted by lower courts. (see Radio Praha article)
Estonia #
Cannabis is prohibited. According to joh, "Seeds are legal to sell but illegal to import and export." (unconfirmed) (thanks JOH)
Germany #
Cannabis use and possession are partially decriminalized in Germany. Some medical use has been approved. Cannabis is prohibited by the German BtMG (drug schedule), making it illegal to possess, cultivate, or sell. A reader comments that possession of 6 g or less is generally not prosecuted, and more or less may be tolerated, depending on the state. The northern states tend to be more permissive than the southern states, where amounts smaller than a gram may even be prosecuted. (thanks JL, 5, TNO) (last updated Nov 2, 2015)
Greece #
Cannabis is controlled in Greece and illegal to grow or possess. We've received conflicting reports about how severely police treat minor possession offenses (less than 1 gram) with one submitter saying police are likely to overlook possession at that level and a March 2007 submitter saying that they were themselves prosecuted in southern Greece for 0.8 grams of cannabis and that raids on cannabis farms had increased over the last 3 years. (thanks Z, A) (last updated Mar 2007)

See also Greek Drug Law and Policy
Hong Kong #
Possession, cultivation, sale, and import of cannabis is forbidden by the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance 30/06/1997. Any offense is punishable by a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 15 years. (thanks KGS) (last updated Nov 1, 2015)
India #
Although India has a long history of the use of Cannabis, including involvement with religious traditions, it is illegal to grow or possess. In some areas, cannabis use is openly ignored by authorities, particularly during the festivals of Holi and ShivaRati. (see Times of India article on bhang use). (thanks C)
Israel #
Cannabis is illegal for most purposes in Israel, though inactive hempseed oil is sold and available in some products. Medical prescriptions/licenses have been increasingly available from 2007 to 2010. See Israeli medical marijuana patients to pay as pot proves popular (Jan 19 2010), Israeli Medical Marijuana Policies (June 21 2009), Israel: Health Ministry To Expand Medical Marijuana Regulations (Dec 2 2009), Going to Pot (Apr 2007, the Jerusalem Post). (thanks rs,A,HmND) (last updated Nov 1 2015)
Italy #
Possession for recreational use is a misdemeanor crime in Italy and some medical use has been approved. In 2015, Italy is considering legalizing cannabis. See Italian parliament mulls cannabis motion : July 16, 2015. Cannabis preparations and THC are illegal to use, sell, own, cultivate etc. Personal use is decriminalized, with penalties for possession of small amounts (< 5g) resulting in confiscation of passport or driver's license. Possession of larger quantities is treated as possession with intent to sell and is subject to stronger penalties. (unconfirmed) In 2008, the Italian Supreme Court created a legal exception for personal use of cannabis by Rastafarians. See http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy/abruzzo/supreme-court-lets-rastas-keep-their-weed and http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2008/jul/18/europe_rastafarians_can_smoke_ma. (thanks T) (last updated Nov 14 2015)
Jamaica #
Possession of ganja in Jamaica is decrminalized up to two ounces, it is legal to smoke where it is allowed to smoke cigarettes, and it is now legal to grow. Medical use has also been approved. Sale for recreational use is prohibited by Jamaican law, but the law is widely ignored and cannabis is sold openly in many markets. See Dangerous Drugs Act 2015 Summary(PDF). (thanks J) (last updated Nov 14 2015)
Japan #
Cannabis is prohibited under the Japanese Cannabis Control Act. [see also http://www.taima.org/en/law.htm]. (thanks E) However, viable cannabis seeds are available in headshop as of June 2005, selling for Y1300-Y2500 (12-23 USD) each. Growing the seeds is illegal and the shops have warnings that the seeds are just curiosity samples and the shop will not answer questions about cultivation. (unconfirmed) (thanks S4M)
Malta #
Cannabis is illegal in Malta (Schedule 1). Possession for personal use is mostly decriminalized and subject to fine, but prison terms are usually given only for trafficking. (unconfirmed) (thanks EE)
Mexico #
In August 2009, a new law decrminalized a number of drugs, including cannabis, with small quantities of cannabis (up to 5 grams) not prosecuted as crimes. (thanks HB) (last updated Mar 11 2010)
Netherlands #
Cannabis possession is decriminalized up to only 5 grams and it is still sold openly in some "coffee shops". The legal status of cannabis in the Netherlands has vacilated from more to less restrictive over the last forty years.

Although cannabis is technically illegal to possess and sell in the Netherlands, the government does not prosecute individuals (over 18) who smoke cannabis. Possession of less than 5 grams or growing of less than 5 plants will not be prosecuted. Cannabis seeds are reportedly not controlled and are legal to possess and sell. Certain cafes/coffee shops are allowed to sell cannabis and hold 100 grams behind the counter and another 500 grams in the back. Paradoxically, we have received unconfirmed reports that coffee shops are not allowed to legally purchase cannabis. In March of 2003, the Dutch government changed the law to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes through pharmacies. BBC Sep 2003.

On Jan 1, 2008, Dutch police will officially be disallowed from smoking cannabis while off duty. Dutch police complain it is their right to smoke cannabis while off-duty, Dec 15 2007, DailyMail. (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
New Zealand #
Cannabis is a Class B controlled drug in New Zealand. It is illegal to cultivate, possess, or sell. (thanks CH) (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Norway #
Recreational use, possession, and distribution of cannabis are ilelgal in Norway and no medical exception is allowed. The penalty for possession of small quantities of Cannabis (less than 15 g) is normally 3000 NOK. For more than 15 g, higher penalties apply and can include community service and jail in some cases. The Norwegian police does not punish use, possession and distribution of Marijuana as harshly as hashish, and hashish in Norway is often adulterated with other ingredients. (unconfirmed) (thanks S and numerous others)(last updated Nov 7 2015)
North Korea #
Technical legal status unknown, assumed to be controlled, however reports indicate that smoking cannabis is tolerated and not prosecuted. "A 2010 report by Open Radio for North Korea, an American nongovernmental organization based in Seoul, cited an anonymous North Korean source as saying that Kim Jong Un's regime does not consider marijuana to be a drug." See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/marijuana-in-north-korea_n_4067341.html?utm_hp_ref=tw. (last updated Oct 11, 2013)
Pakistan / Peshawar #
We have been told that in Peshawar and the northern parts of Pakistan, smoking Hash (Charas) is socially acceptable and even sold on an open market where the government does not intrude. One can be jailed for up to six months if they are caught with Charas in other parts of the country, but it's apparently very common to bribe the police with as little as $5-20 to get out of an arrest. We are also told that many shops have Charas behind the counter, but only sell to known customers. (unconfirmed) (thanks IM) (last updated May 2006) See Drug Law : Pakistan.
Peru #
According to Article 2999 in the Peruvian penal code, personal possession of small amounts individual drugs is not a crime. The list of maximum quantities include 2000mg of cocaine, 5000 mg cocaine basic paste, 8000 mg of cannabis, 2000mg of cannabis derivatives, 1000 mg of opium latex or 200mg of opium derivatives, 250mg of MDA or MDMA. See http://howtoperu.com/2012/03/27/drugs-in-peru-laws-of-possession/. (unconfirmed) (thanks cr) (last updated Feb 26, 2013)
Poland #
Possession of cannabis is illegal in Poland. Even small amounts (1g) are not tolerated and penalties can be high. Since Jun 2005 according to the new law, a new resocialization program for drug addicts has been formed as a alternative to putting young people in prison. Cannabis is still a public enemy treated the same way as 'hard drugs'. (thanks RaN)

In 2006 an Erowid reader told us that possession of seeds is legal in Poland, and they are available through online vendors. (unconfirmed) (thanks D) (last updated Nov 2015)
Portugal #
Effective July 2001, personal use of cannabis was decriminalized by Law 30/2000 (see text of law). Possession of less than 25 g leaves and flowering tops, 5 g resin, 2.5 g oil, or 500 mg THC is not regarded as a criminal offense, though the substance is liable to be seized and the possessor can be referred to mandatory treatment. Sale, or possession of quantities greater than the personal possession limit, are criminal offenses punishable by jail time. We are told the police have a rather tolerant attitude towards cannabis consumption in major cities, and it is largely ignored. (thanks P)
Romania #
According to a contributor: "Cannabis growing, possession or selling is prohibited. Seeds have no legal status (neither legal nor illegal). If you are caught with seeds they will take them and you will receive not more than a warning. Possession of small amounts (1-3 grams) is only punishable by a small fine (~ $150-200). For bigger quantities possession or for growing (only for personal use) you can stay 3 or 6 years in prison. If you sell cannabis you can take over 6 years in prison." (unconfirmed) (thanks EG)
Russia #
Cannabis is a prohibited drug under Russian law. We have been told that the 2003 change to decriminalize personal possession of small amounts has been rescinded, but have been unable to confirm that. Previously, in Dec 2003, personal possession of up to 20 g of cannabis was legalized (see article). (thanks o, QBM) (Last updated Oct 14 2011)
Singapore #
Cannabis is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, making it illegal to cultivate, sell, or possess.
South America #
Spain #
It is generally said that it is legal to keep and smoke cannabis inside one's own home with the windows closed. Spanish laws about cannabis possession are not 100% clear. Possession and use are illegal, but there may be an exception for private behavior. If someone can see or detect you using it, it is potentially a crime. Cannabis is illegal in Spain, with small amounts punishable by fine. Larger amounts, cultivation, or sale are punishable by jail terms. Cannabis seeds are legal and are commonly available for purchase. (last updated Nov 14, 2015)
Sweden #
Possession and sale of cannabis are illegal in Sweden. Possession of up to 50 g usually results in a fine, 50 to 2500 g usually leads to 2 weeks to 1 year imprisonment, more than 2.5 kg generally results in 2 years - 10 years imprisonment. (unconfirmed) (thanks KW, M, H) (Last Updated Apr 11, 2009)
Taiwan #
Cannabis is a schedule 2 narcotic in Taiwan, and possession can result in up to 3 years imprisonment. (thanks LN) (last updated Nov 1 2015)
United Kingom (U.K., England) #
Cannabis possession is a crime in the United Kingdom with no exception for medical use. Cannabis was reclassified as a Class B drug in Britain in January 2009. (last updated Nov 2 2015)
Uruguay #
Cannabis possession is legal for residents of Uruguay 18 and older. Officially, cannabis buyers must register with the goverment. Uruguay was one of the first countries in the world to legalize cannabis completely, although the president postponed implementation of the rules until 2015. See http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/22/uruguay-legal-cannabis-1-dollar-gram and http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/uruguay-marijuana-sales-delayed-until-2015-president.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68922&NewsCatID=358. (last updated Oct 28 2015)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.