Cannaparisons: laws and prices around the world

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Colleen Leary/PSU Vanguard

Marijuana use is widespread all around the world. Despite this, certain countries range from very strict to completely legal when it comes to cannabis laws. The following is a list of countries that all have different backgrounds when it comes to the legality of marijuana. Whether it is legal or not, marijuana is still distributed and sold to individuals at a extensive range of prices, from a dollar all the way up to $80 a gram.

Japan
Under the “Cannabis Control Law”:
Marijuana is only legal for cultivation, and growers must have licenses to grow and possess cannabis. Only growers and researchers who possess a permit are allowed possession of marijuana.

All cannabis-related activities are illegal (import, export, deal, supply, smoking, etc.).

Any person who unlawfully cultivates, imports to or exports from Japan can receive up to seven years in prison. With the purpose of gain, one can get up to 10 years and be charged with a 3 million yen fine.

Any person who unlawfully possesses, receives or transfers cannabis can receive up to five years of prison, and with the purpose of gain, up to seven years.

Prices: Average 5,000 yen per gram ($50 US at 100 yen per dollar), depending on the source, but can be found at up to 8,000 yen per gram (about $80 US).

Nepal

Completely legal until the 1970s.

Illegal to cultivate, possess, sell and deal marijuana, but the law enforcement is very lenient.

Hash is more common in Nepal, and is used by holy men or sadhus, and is also used in religious celebrations.

Prices: One kilogram of marijuana is on average 7,000 Nepali rupees ($100 US). One tola (11 grams) can be found for less than 1,000 Nepali rupees ($15 US). Bargaining is also common and acceptable.

Singapore
Under the “Misuse of Drugs Act”:

The possession, cultivation, importing and exporting of any amount of marijuana is illegal. Any possession can result in a $20,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

The possession of 15 or more grams presumes the purpose of drug trafficking unless proven otherwise.

The possession of 500 grams or more of marijuana results in a mandatory death penalty.

Cannabis is considered a Class A Schedule I drug.

Prices: Usually bought in ’50s, 50 singapore dollars (approximately $31 US) can buy three to five grams depending on connections.

Morocco
Despite being illegal since 1974 when a total ban on drugs was enforced, Morocco is the world’s top producer of hashish, a concentrated extract produced from marijuana. According to an article by Giles Tremlett, 70 percent of hashish consumed in Europe was cultivated in Morocco.

Being caught with marijuana can lead to 10 years in prison; however, tourists are usually let off with a fine.

Prices: In Rif, a popular tourist town in Morocco, cannabis can be sold for 15 dirham a gram, which is a little over $1 US. Prices can be higher if the buyer is a tourist and speaks English, due to the presumption that English speakers tend to be wealthier. Speaking Arabic or French is a plus when it comes to lowering the price and bargaining is acceptable.

Uruguay
Enacted in 2013, Uruguay is the first country to completely legalize marijuana in the modern era.

Under the law, individuals can grow marijuana at home, belong to a cannabis club or buy it in licensed pharmacies.

Modeling Washington and Colorado, the cannabis laws are more state-concerned policies, and are less focused on commercialization of the plant. Despite this, compared to Washington laws, possession is more limited. Cannabis users cannot buy more than 40 grams per month at pharmacies, and purchases cannot exceed 10 grams per batch.

Prices: Prices are set by the state at $1 a gram. Production of marijuana in Uruguay costs around half a dollar per gram, therefore prices are kept low.

Portugal
Under Portuguese Law 30/2000:
Although illegal, cannabis is decriminalized under the law. Any individual caught in the possession of marijuana is not subject to arrest, imprisonment or fines. Instead, a police citation may be given and the individual will be referred to a panel of professionals to determine the best course of treatment, whether it be rehabilitation and/or recovery classes.

A cannabis user can possess up to 25 grams of cannabis and five grams of hashish.

Prices: 10 Euros (about $11 US) can buy about two grams of hashish. Herbal cannabis can range from $3 to $7 a gram or even higher.

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