How Are Countries Legalizing Cannabis?

AdobeStock by Rick Proctor

Slowly but surely, all around the world countries are legalizing cannabis. As we’ve learned from history it all comes down to who we vote for. Should America continue to get on board?

brief History of Cannabis in canada

In Canada, during the 1800s, the Canadian government supplied farmers with hemp seeds to cultivate for industrial purposes. Around 1920, the government introduced the Act to Prohibit Improper use of Opium and other drugs.

Gastown Riots

Many years later in the 1970s, cannabis still being illegal, the Gastown Riot in Vancouver, British Columbia took place. What started as the first “smoke-in,” to protest strict marijuana laws soon turned into a battle. Police were accused of using excessive force, 79 were arrested and 38 were charged. Sound familiar?

MMAR Introduction

Things began to change in the 2000s when the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations Act (MMAR) was introduced.

AdobeStock by Kimzy Nanney
AdobeStock by Kimzy Nanney

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Canadian court of appeal declared prohibiting the use of marijuana for medical purposes unconstitutional.

In 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper initiated mandatory prison sentences for dealers and growers. Despite the 0% death rate and environmental benefits of cannabis.

A Big Year For Change

2014 was a big year for medical marijuana patients, that’s when physicians were able to start prescriptions! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced cannabis would be officially legal October 17th 2018! Voting played a huge roll in the legalization of marijuana, don’t forget to vote!

Finally, Legalization!

January 2019 online sales via provincial and territorial governments began. Legal cannabis sales in Canada are treated a lot like alcohol sales.

It is dependent on the province, some provinces will have different laws and regulations. For instance, in Quebec, you must be 18+ to purchase cannabis. Also in Quebec, it is illegal to cultivate cannabis for personal use.

Similarly, in Ontario, cannabis is 19+ and one person can carry and share up to 30 grams of dried flower. As well, each household can grow up to 4 plants for personal use.

Liquor License Board of Ontario (LLBO) is the sole vender and as of April 1st 2019, retail stores are open. Private sectors can operate while LLBO is the wholesaler.

Municipalities can opt-out of retail stores if desired. The first Toronto stores Honeypot and Nova Cannabis are both located on Queen St West.

other countries legalizing cannabis

It’s not just Canada that decided to hop on the list of countries legalizing cannabis. The use of recreational use is still illegal in many countries, however medicinal or decriminalized cannabis is booming globally.

A List of Countries With Both Recreational and Medicinal use legalized

  • Canada
  • Uruguay
  • Georgia (Eastern Europe)
  • South Africa
  • Netherlands
  • Spain (private use only)
  • United States (17 states for recreational & 36 states for medicinal)
  • Australia (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Argentina (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Bermuda (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Chile (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Columbia (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Croatia (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Czech Republic (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Ecuador (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Israel (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Italy (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Jamaica (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Luxembourg (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Malta (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Peru (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Portugal (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (decriminalized and legal medicinal)
  • Switzerland (decriminalized and legal medicinal)


There are many more countries that are decriminalizing cannabis both medically and recreationally but aren’t fully legal yet. This list gets longer and longer every year. Soon enough everyone in the world will be able to have cannabis available to them.

Legalizing cannabis also begs the question, why are there still people in prison for marijuana related crimes?


Related article – 11 Staggering Facts About Caffeine


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