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The Best Countries Around the World to Smoke Weed

Make some new, hazy memories in these weed-friendly lands.

Editor’s Note: Any cannabis products referenced above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The writers are not medical doctors, and their experience is based on personal use, the results of which may not be typical or intended. The legality of cannabis products varies by state and country, and readers are encouraged to check their local laws before purchasing and using cannabis products. Possessing, using, distributing, and/or selling marijuana or marijuana-based products is illegal under federal law as of the writing of this article, regardless of any conflicting state laws. Compliance with the laws of a particular state in no way ensures compliance with federal law, and there is a risk that conflicting federal and/or other state laws may be enforced in the future. Nothing in this article should be construed as advice regarding the legal status of cannabis products.

You’ve read the complete guide to legal weed laws covering all 50 of the United States of America. You’ve already visited/lived in one (or many) of the states where weed is legal and maybe even taken a cannabis-friendly road trip or two. You tried out local greenery to soak up the local culture. And now you’re ready to take this experience international. It’s time to make some new, hazy memories in foreign, weed-friendly lands.

This is where things aren’t quite so black and white. While there are countries where cannabis is an absolute, hard no, immediate-jail-time or serious fine kind of situation (if you’re in the UAE or Singapore, you should definitely steer clear of smoking), there are plenty of other countries where marijuana has been legalized, decriminalized, or just socially mainstreamed enough that even when you are technically breaking the law, you’re doing it alongside locals (and authorities are intentionally looking the other way).

Here are 27 countries where weed is legal, decriminalized, or socially legal-ish. (Previous versions of this list included Russia, but after Brittney Griner’s arrest for hashish oil, and the current, not-so-chill political situation, we removed it.)


Should you smoke here? Yes
On October 17, 2018, Canada legalized recreational marijuana in full. The minimum age requirement to buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary varies from 18 years old to 21 years old, depending on the individual province. Weed, edibles, and the like have to be packaged in more subdued ways, but while the government is strict about appearances, it’s totally ok with sending and receiving weed via post.

The United States

Should you smoke here? It depends
Surely the most mismatched category of laws state-by-state across this bipolar land of ours are the marijuana statutes. In some, you can smoke anywhere cigarettes are allowed without fear; in some, you must have a demonstrated ailment and doctor’s note; in others, carrying so much as a few puffs worth of bud can get you thrown into prison. It all depends on which state you’re standing in. This, at least, we know for sure: The TSA doesn’t give a flying bong rip about you taking small amounts of pot onto an airplane.

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Should you smoke here? Most likely
Private, personal use of recreational marijuana in amounts 5 grams or less is decriminalized, meaning no jail time. It’s still illegal—as is cultivation and sale of marijuana—but there’s been renewed momentum towards legalization of late. If you can find it, you’ll likely not be bothered while enjoying it on the less populated part of the beach.


Should you smoke here? Yes
In late 2017, the government of Belize was kind enough to decriminalize cannabis in amounts up to 10 grams. You can smoke it in your home, or someone else’s provided you’ve gotten explicit permission. That includes their sailboat.

Costa Rica

Should you smoke here? You can bet on it
Like with many places on this list, it’s technically illegal to smoke here but doing so carries no legal penalties. Smoking weed is super common here, and you can be pretty comfortable smoking out on the beach and so forth (not just in the privacy of your room).


Should you smoke here? Without a doubt
Weed has been decriminalized in Jamaica since 2015, and if you happen to be Rastafarian, you can use unlimited quantities with no repercussions. Within minutes of hitting the beach, you can expect countless friendly strangers to approach with offers of local greens.

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Should you smoke here? It is decidedly so
Cultivating, selling, and transporting large amounts is illegal, but cannabis use is very normalized, and possession has been fully decriminalized. Personal use is now a constitutional right, in fact. In 2020, the country legalized cannabis for medical use.


Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
For almost a decade, Colombia has enjoyed marijuana decriminalization of amounts up to 20 grams. It remains illegal to sell or grow it, but the country’s wrenching history with the drug trade has given it perspective on how harmful marijuana is compared with other substances.


Should you smoke here? Yes
Ecuador is one of the chiller countries when it comes to marijuana policy. While it’s still illegal to cultivate and sell it, when it comes to personal use, you’re cool—so long as you don’t exceed 10 grams.


Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
Peru tolerates cannabis so long as you do it discreetly and don’t mess around with any growing or selling. In other words, just enjoy your grass at home (or someone else’s home, as long as they’re fine with it).


Should you smoke here? Without a doubt
Weed is fully legal here for anyone 18 and up, as well as small amounts of many other typically controlled substances. People here just have to officially register with the government before they engage in any buying, selling, or growing. As of 2017, you can buy commercial grass from regular pharmacies. The dream of normalized, legalized weed is alive in Uruguay.

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Should you smoke here? You can bet on it
Cambodia is worth visiting for many reasons, one of the biggest among them being the fact that you can go out to a restaurant and know that any dish or menu marked “Happy” means that it’s likely cannabis-infused. Weed is still officially illegal, but it’s culturally accepted, ubiquitous, and cheap.


Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
Marijuana is illegal in Laos, but no one cares. The policy isn’t enforced, and you’ll find “happy” meals, so to speak, the same way you will in Cambodia. We do recommend trying to pick up in a hostel rather than on the street, but you’ll probably be okay.

North Korea

Should you smoke here? Ask again later
This one’s messy. There are frequently reports that marijuana is fully legal in North Korea, but a lot of this comes from a lack of information in general, i.e. not hearing anything about it actually being legal to consume. In an alternate universe where Pyongyang is on your bucket list, and you happen to be gifted weed in the region, it’s probably best not to tempt fate by lighting up.


Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
If you’re 18 or older, you can enjoy decriminalized marijuana in Belgium, provided the amount comes in at no more than 3 grams. Be discreet, which is to say don’t smoke that flower you bought in Amsterdam in public.


Should you smoke here? Most likely
Sale and cultivation will get you in big trouble here, but possession of small amounts for personal use is a misdemeanor. At most, you could face a fine and potentially have identification documents like your passport suspended, but you won’t end up in jail. Italy has historically been a huge producer of cannabis, and the momentum to legalize these days is something powerful.


Should you smoke here? Yes
On December 14, 2021, Malta legalized recreational cannabis for personal use, becoming the first EU country to do so. It is legal to carry around up to 7 grams of cannabis, but smoking in public remains banned. It’s best to still operate discreetly if you get your hands on some. They’ve yet to set up a system for retail stores, but home grows are allowed, so it’s around.

The Netherlands

Should you smoke here? Yes
Weed has been legal to smoke in coffee shops in the Netherlands for decades, and although it’s been illegal to grow, many of the world’s most beloved cultivars originate from that part of the world. However, following the COVID-19 lockdown halting canna-tourism in Amsterdam, city officials have been pushing to rebrand their tourism scene and ban non-EU citizens from consuming in coffee shops. American college students, your time might be running out.


Should you smoke here? It is decidedly so
Portugal decriminalized drugs back in 2001. All drugs. Every drug there is. Instead of prison time, you might get slapped with a fine or—wait for it—“substance-abuse treatment.” This has been working exceptionally well as a method of tackling opioid addiction, and hopefully the rest of the world will eventually take a bit more notice. Anyway, you’re clear to carry up to 25 grams at a time. Which should be enough?

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Should you smoke here? Without a doubt
In 2017, Spain’s famous smoking clubs—of which there are hundreds—became fully legalized in Catalonia, a northern region of the country. Even if you aren’t smoking in a club, you’re free to smoke on your own without fines or legal repercussions of any kind.


Should you smoke here? Yes
Possession of small amounts has been decriminalized, and there’s a push to get some cannabis clubs going. If you’re over 18 and caught with up to 10 grams, you won’t pay more than a $100-ish fine. Hemp home grows are allowed, and flowers containing less than 1% THC (referred to as “Cannabis Light”) is fully legal.


Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
Technically, this small country bordering Turkey and Russia beat Malta to the punch for the first country on the continent to legalize cannabis. As of 2018, possession and consumption are allowed, with the Courts declaring that "consumption of marijuana is an action protected by the right to free personality." We couldn’t agree more.


Should you smoke here? Chances look good
There is a town in Estonia called Kanepi that just adopted a marijuana leaf as its official emblem. Like, it’s on the local Kanepi flag. Sale and cultivation are no-nos here, but personal use of amounts under 7.5 grams will be punished by fine—no jail time. As you might have gathered, weed culture here runs deep.


Should you smoke here? Most likely
Personal use is decriminalized here, though exercise caution if you get your hands on some. Medical weed may be legal here but the possession of even small amounts of marijuana and other “light drugs” can earn a tourist a fine of $750-$3,000, depending on the circumstances.

The Czech Republic

Should you smoke here? It is certain
Possession here is decriminalized for amounts up to 15 grams. Medical usage, meanwhile, has been fully legal for a minute, and the country has historically been pretty progressive around marijuana policy. It can be expensive—most of what you’ll find here is imported—but as long as you’re reasonably discreet about things (meaning just don’t, like, yell about it while waving a little plastic baggy around in public) you’re good to go.

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Should you smoke here? Signs point to yes
Medical marijuana—which Australia has been at the forefront of in terms of research and commercialization—has been legal across the country for the last two years. While recreational marijuana is not, possession is decriminalized in most regions. It’s not as ubiquitous as the U.S. or even the U.K., but if you find some, a discreet sesh won’t ruffle any feathers.

South Africa

Should you smoke here? It is certain
Cannabis has been decriminalized for personal consumption by adults in private homes, but it’s still federally illegal. If your hosts have herb, though, smoking indoors isn’t going to provoke any unwanted knocks on the door.

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Kastalia Medrano is a New York-based journalist and avid traveler. Follow her on Twitter.
Lauren Yoshiko is a freelance writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. She writes The Broccoli Report, a bi-weekly newsletter for creative cannabis entrepreneurs.