6 Countries With Super Confusing Cannabis Laws

Understanding Complex Weed Regulations Around The World 

If you travel abroad, there’s a good chance you do some research on the laws of your destination before boarding the plane. After all, you don’t want to end up with a lofty fine or a jail sentence for making a simple mistake. 

As a cannabis user, you’re probably also concerned with the laws these destinations enforce regarding the plant.  

Is your next cross-continental trip weed-friendly? If you’re headed to one of the following countries, it’s hard to say. That’s because these countries are notorious for their confusing cannabis laws. 


In Mexico, cannabis is technically illegal, though the law states otherwise. Mexico’s Supreme Court recently ruled that the country’s laws against cannabis were unconstitutional. Still, you can be arrested and charged with various cannabis law violations, but you can challenge them by claiming the arrest is unconstitutional. 

This grey area has left many consumers in the dark. 

The Netherlands 

This is one of the most famous tourist spots for cannabis enthusiasts, so you wouldn’t expect there to be any confusion. Technically, though, cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands. It has been decriminalized for personal use, however, and since 1976, it’s been sold in coffee shops.  


Russia’s approach to cannabis regulation seems contradictory to many. Cannabis is illegal in Russia, but the amount of cannabis that constitutes a criminal offense has recently dropped from 20 grams to 6 grams. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Russia is cannabis-friendly. The Russian Foreign Ministry called out Canada for violating international law when the Canadian government legalized cannabis in 2018. 



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Cannabis laws in Italy are complicated. Much of the confusion comes from Italy’s acceptance of “cannabis light.” Cannabis is not legal in Italy, but “cannabis light” is. This phrase refers to mild cannabis with extremely low THC levels. Cannabis light has been compared to decaf coffee. 

Advocates and stoners are hoping that Italy will soon give cannabis with notable amounts of THC the green light. 

North Korea 


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It’s a given that laws are confusing in North Korea. For a long time, rumours swirled that North Korea was a paradise for stoners. According to a 2017 deep-dive by Business Insider, it’s more complicated than that. The Associated Press found evidence that cannabis is, in fact, illegal in North Korea. With such a tight grip on the flow of information though, it’s too hard to get a conclusive idea of what North Korea’s cannabis laws are actually like.  

Costa Rica  


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This Central American country has a peculiar approach to cannabis regulation. According to Narcotics Law No. 8204, it is illegal to sell or produce cannabis on a large scale, or carry more than a small dose. 

Here’s the kicker: the law does not quantify how much a large scale or a small dose is. Additionally, consumption of cannabis does not result in any penalties, even though it is categorically considered illegal in Costa Rica. 

Our advice? Do your research and proceed with caution before toking up in one of these countries.