List of the Latest Countries that Have Legalized Cannabis

Cannabis which is also known as marijuana or weed is a substance that’s derived from a plant called cannabis sativa. This substance can be used for several purposes, including health, recreational and economical, thanks to its unique characteristics and effects. Weed is a psychotropic substance that offers advantages and disadvantages in equal measure. It offers health, economic and life-improving benefits as well as setbacks in equal parts.

For a very long time, the society has focused on marijuana disadvantages alone as opposed to everything. It has notably ignored the advantages of this psychotropic substance until just recently. Due to the negative publicity, marijuana use has been banned in many countries around the world for decades. However, going by the recent developments, it seems that many countries are beginning to have a positive attitude towards cannabis. The following countries have recently legalized weed;

1. Canada

Although in Canada cannabis usage is legal for medicinal purposes only, the nation could soon allow its citizens and residents to use weed for purposes other than this. There is currently a bill in parliament seeking to decriminalize weed usage for none medicinal purposes. The bill is at an advanced stage, and sources indicate that its likely to pass.

2. Some US States

Although marijuana usage remains an illegal activity except for medicinal and research purposes in many US states, there a few states that have completely legalized it no matter the purpose. The states where weed usage is completely legal are Alaska, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washing and Washington DC. It is highly likely that other states could soon follow suit.

3. Argentina

In Argentina, weed is partially legal, depending on the purpose. While it is legal to use weed for medicinal purposes here, you could be put behind bars for using the substance for purposes other than this.The sentence for illegal weed usage is often between 1 and six years.

4. North Korea

Did you know that you can do weed in North Korea without getting arrested? Despite being a totalitarian state with strict laws and harsh sentences, North Korea has a very positive attitude towards cannabis. It is completely legal to do weed in this jurisdiction.

5. Australia

In Australia, marijuana is legal for medicinal and scientific purposes. However, some parts of Australia such as Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and South Australia have gone a step further to decriminalize cannabis for personal use.

6. Austria

Austria is one of the few countries that have recently changed their laws regarding cannabis usage. The Eastern European country decriminalized marijuana for personal use two years ago. It’s still illegal to grow marijuana or sell marijuana within the jurisdiction though.

Conclusion

These are some of the countries where cannabis usage is entirely or partially legal. Places where marijuana use is entirely legal to include North Korea, the US states above, the Australian territories above, and Austria. The rest allow weed usage for medicinal and research purposes only. Many other countries could also soon review and change their laws regarding marijuana.

In California, thousands of amnesties related to marijuana.

The City of San Francisco will review up to 8,000 convictions and offenses under the new legislation, authorizing recreational cannabis.

In opposition to the Trump administration, the city of San Francisco, California, has instituted an amnesty for all convictions related to cannabis for over forty years. The agglomeration prosecutor’s office has thus indicated that it will “retroactively apply the measure (…) legalizing the possession and use of recreational marijuana”, adopted in November 2016,”to criminal offenses and convictions dating back to 1975″. Up to 8,000 convictions and offenses will be examined.

“Although drug policies are taking a step backward at the federal level, San Francisco is once again taking the initiative to repair the damage caused by the disastrous (…) war on drugs,” prosecutor George Gascon commented.” A criminal conviction can be a barrier to employment, housing, and other subsidies.”

The San Diego prosecutor’s spokesperson, Summer Stephan, told Agence France-Presse that the seaside resort on the Mexican border has been taking similar steps to erase cannabis-related criminal records for the past year.

Persons who have sold drugs to minors or involved in violence, particularly sexual assaults and rapes, cannot benefit from these amnesties.

“Restorative Justice”

Gavin Newson, an assistant to the governor of California and former mayor of San Francisco, highlights the “lives shattered by an expensive and racially discriminatory marijuana criminal justice system.

hvfiosfissvfospsapProsecutor Gascon points out that the “war on drugs,” the nickname of federal counter-narcotics policy for years, has resulted in “uneven arrests across racial groups.” With Black and Hispanic people being the subject of more frequent arrests and incarceration than Whites, although “multiple studies have shown that drug use and sale is equivalent.”

In California, several cities such as Los Angeles or Oakland, and Portland, Oregon, are working to address these disparities and are implementing “restorative justice” measures, such as prioritizing African Americans or Hispanics in commercialization licensing.

Eight states, including Colorado and Washington State in addition to Washington DC, have already legalized recreational soft drugs, and thirty states with the federal capital have legalized them for therapeutic use. However, it remains illegal at the federal level in the US.

If the Obama administration had lifted the stakes on marijuana arrests and prosecutions, the Trump administration and its justice minister, Jeff Sessions, have raised the stakes.