Cannabis laws are increasingly being relaxed all across the United States and around the world, and full legalization is looking like more of a prospect than ever before. This is great news for those of us who wish to produce, use, and benefit from cannabis here in the USA.
But is the American situation being echoed elsewhere in the world? For those wishing to use cannabis abroad, here’s a quick guide to the next few countries which may be relaxing their cannabis legislation:
The UK is going through interesting times at the moment, what with Brexit and all the uncertainties it’s brought in its wake. In a lot of ways, legislation or advances which were perhaps in the pipelines prior to the EU referendum are now on hold until the country sorts itself out.
Cannabis is therefore still technically illegal in the UK – but this tends not to be enforced, and plenty of blind eyes are turned. If you have a medical condition for which you use cannabis, you will be allowed to use cannabis-based medicine Savitex – provided that you have the right documents and are properly covered for any problems which may arise.
However, there has been a lot of interest from all quarters in the medicinal uses of the plant. As the UK has a nationalized healthcare system, doctors and scientists have no need to consult with pharmaceutical companies (many of whom have certain vested interests) on this matter.
It looks, therefore, as though medical marijuana could be legalized in the UK relatively soon. Recreational cannabis may not be far behind, either, if the opinions of MPs and prominent think tanks are anything to go by.
Argentina decriminalized cannabis for personal use back in 2009, but it’s still technically illegal to produce and/or sell it. This wasn’t enough for many cannabis supporters, who took to the streets in 2015 to demand full legalization.
They weren’t particularly optimistic about their prospects, but public, scientific, and economic backing for legal cannabis has since swelled all across South America.
While Argentinian politicians are not averse to taking the opposite view to the public and economists, in this case, they appear to be getting on board. It’s reported that serious talks are occurring regarding potential full legalization.
Canada’s government announced earlier this year that new cannabis legislation would be coming into play in spring 2017. The new legislation appears to form part of a framework designed to keep legal cannabis out of the hands of those not old or competent enough to use it – in much the same way as alcohol laws work.
A task force has been put in place to conduct extensive research, to consult, and to draw up a detailed strategy for the safe legalization of cannabis within Canada.
As it’s chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister herself, Canada’s intentions on this score are clearly serious. However, some are disappointed that things aren’t moving faster.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs (i.e. made using them subject only to fines, while producing and selling them remained illegal) in 2001. Since then, overdose rates have dropped dramatically, more drug users have sought help, HIV cases have plummeted, and the issue of drugs in the nation has generally reduced significantly.
It’s thought that Portugal may expand on this success by making cannabis fully legal in Portugal. Problematically, cannabis is illegal in many of the nations surrounding Portugal, meaning that international pressures regarding the transportation of the drug are in play as well as the desires of the Portuguese people.
Quite what will happen over the next few years remains to be seen, but Portugal certainly remains one to watch.
Let us know what you think.