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If you want to understand how vague, ambiguous, and sometimes futile the concept of "prohibited" is, just look at how the world’s various nations have regulated cannabis. Neighboring places, sometimes sharing the same constitution (such as the United States, for example), have different opinions and laws on the recreational use of cannabis, its cultivation, and its possession. In one state, you can grow and consume your weed, but if you visit your grandmother a few miles over the border and forget to empty your pockets, you risk jail time!
The timeline of cannabis legislation
Cannabis has been the object of lawmakers' attention since the Middle Ages, as you can see from Wikipedia’s timeline. The history of prohibition began in 1378, when Soudoun Sheikouni, the Emir of the Joneima in Arabia, banned its cultivation and consumption. Since then, worldwide legislation has become the mess we all know!
Marijuana legalization, explained
There is an extensive feature in Vox magazine dedicated to the legalization of cannabis, which seeks to shed light on the many facets of the subject. Definitely an interesting read.
The first in the world
Uruguay was the first nation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in December 2013, with a law that has been an example and a test laboratory for all world countries. Here you can grow up to 6 plants. The legislation is still in effect.
And the second, yet first
In 2018, Canada followed Paraguay's example. It legalized the possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, while it was the first nation to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2011.
Canada Cannabis Act
Canadian government website that explains the limits imposed by the Cannabis Act to regulate the use and cultivation of cannabis.
What is legal as of October 17, 2018:
Subject to provincial or territorial restrictions, adults who are 18 years of age or older are legally able to:- possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
- share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
- buy dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer
in provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework, individuals are able to purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers
- grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
- make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
Rules by province
However, in Canada, each province may vary certain parameters such as the age at which you can purchase cannabis or prohibit home cultivation of recreational cannabis. In Manitoba, for example, home cultivation of non-medical cannabis is prohibited, and you must be 19 or older to purchase weed from a licensed dealer. Here's a ranking of provinces based on their strictness on our favorite plant.
What about USA?
The website "Production Grower" has compiled a detailed list of states where it is legal to grow marijuana and those where it is illegal. Here you can see how the landscape is still very diverse for US consumers and home growers.
Map of Marijuana Legalization in 50 States (Source: Weed News)
Cannabis legislation in Europe
There is no harmonized EU law on cannabis use or cultivation. A few countries define the exact quantity of cannabis plants that will lead to prosecution or punishment, while others take a more general approach. For example, in the Netherlands, not more than five plants would normally not be formally prosecuted. In Finland, any cultivation is considered a narcotics offence, which is more severe than an offence of unlawful narcotics use.
Growing in Italy
Growing small amounts of marijuana at home is not considered a crime, as long as they are for personal use. This has been established by the Italian top court, even though there are no laws that explicitly allow it.
The rest of the world
In the rest of the world, from Russia to Australia, via India, China, and Japan, the picture is bleak. Almost everywhere, personal cannabis cultivation is prohibited and, in some cases, severely sanctioned. There is still a long way to go. The sensiseeds.com blog gives us some very insightful and informative articles on the situation in different countries.
Courtesy of We❤️growingcannabis.com