As the legalization of marijuana continues to spread internationally, it is important to understanding the difference between recreational and medicinal marijuana. Then we can take a quick trip around the world and see the many countries that you can toke up in public or risk getting locked up.
Recreational marijuana, means that it is used without medical justification. The product usually has a higher (no pun intended) THC content than medicinal marijuana, since this is the chemical that gives you the high. Medical marijuana on the other hand, focuses on using the whole unprocessed plant or the chemicals contained within it to alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions or diseases. The two main chemicals used in medicinal marijuana are Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC and Cannabidiol, or CBD. Medical marijuana has a higher CBD content, so when you’re taking it, you don’t feel the elation that’s associated with its recreational counterpart.
Fasten your seat belts, we are taking off…
It only seems right to start in Uruguay, since it was the first country to legalize marijuana in 2013. Here, residents are able to cultivate, consume, and distribute cannabis without punishment. However, if you are a tourist, you better find someone who can hook you up with the ganga. In Peru, you are able to possess marijuana without repercussions as long as it’s for personal, private, and immediate use. More recently, Congress passed a medical marijuana bill that will allow production, imports, and sales of cannabis-derived oil. Let’s get a little closer to the U.S., Canada, nationally legalized marijuana in 2017 and is creating regulations to have a system for the legal cultivation, sale, and consumption of cannabis for adults in place by July 2018.
There are other parts of the world where marijuana is not legal, but is generally accepted. What a concept, right? In Germany, recreational users could face a fine if caught, but no criminal penalties. Get this, their medical marijuana program requires insurers to cover the cost of products for patients with severe conditions. Can we say, “winning”? In 2015, Jamaica decriminalized cannabis in the country. If you are caught with 2 ounces or less you could face a $5 fine. Visitors to Jamaica who have legitimate medical prescriptions from their place of residence can acquire a cheap permit to purchase and use medical marijuana while visiting the island. Depending where you are in Australia, some states have decriminalized marijuana while others enforce strict punishments for possession.
Now, as we travel back to the states, let’s just focus on the states that recreational marijuana is legal in, shall we? Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, and Massachusetts. It’s clear that every country has its own set of rules and regulations. If the trend stays at the same pace, we will see many other countries adapt to the legalization and decriminalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana.
Remember, regardless of where you travel, familiarize yourself with the legality of marijuana and the full risks associated with its possession or consumption in that country.