Weed May be Illegal in India, but Here Are Some Countries That Legalised Marijuana

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

While marijuana is banned in India, it continues to be distributed at some temples and religious ceremonies.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: September 8, 2020, 7:31 PM IST


The Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case and alleged involvement of his girlfriend and actor Rhea Chakraborty has got the nation’s attention to Marijuana. Rhea was arrested by the NCB under sections of NDPS.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) began probing the case after allegations were made against Rhea that she had been giving drugs like Marijuana to Sushant. Marijuana is illegal in India. Marijuana comes from cannabis plant and its byproducts include weed, hashish, hemp oil and other items. Marijuana is categorised in the same group as other hard narcotic drugs.

The drug is banned in India. But that is not the case in many other countries. In fact it is used as a recreational drug in many parts of the world. In India too, there are temples which serve marijuana as prasad. Bhang, a variant of marijuana, consumption on Holi is a cultural thing in many parts of north India.

READ: High on Faith: Marijuana is Served as Prasad at Some Temples in Karnataka

Here is a list of countries where Marijuana is legal:

Canada: Here, the consumption of Marijuana is legalised by law for recreational and medicinal purposes. In fact, for the month of June, Canada saw the highest sale of the recreational drug with retail sale of $152.1 million. Canada is the first G7 and G20 nation to legalise cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis and its by-products.

Georgia: In this country, consumption and possession of marijuana is legal. It was legalised on July 30, 2018. However, cultivation and sale of the recreational drug remains prohibited by law here.

South Africa: In South Africa, consumption of Cannabis by adults in public has been decriminalised by law. However, use of space outside personal residence for sale and consumption of marijuana still comes under prohibition by law. The use of cannabis for recreation was first brought under restriction in 1922. Usage for religious, medicinal purposes did not fall under the ambit of the ban.

Uruguay: Recreational usage of cannabis became legal here in December 2013 after President Jose Mujica signed the legislation. With this, Uruguay became the first country in the modern era to legalise cannabis. Further in August, cultivation of six plants was made legal here. There was also a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime, and the creation of a Cannabis regulatory institute.

In countries like Netherlands, cannabis sale is limited to some licensed coffeeshops. Countries like Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, etc have legalised medicinal use of marijuana.

However, the case of India is different. While calls for legalising weed have gained momentum over the past few decades in India, the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and the consequent media trial of Rhea Chakraborty based on their alleged consumption of weed has once again raised questions about the criminal status of weed.

Critics claim that the weed ban is not only detrimental to mental health but also a source of revenue loss for the Indian economy. According to a Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment study, nearly 2.83% Indians aged 10–75 years who consume marijuana. That’s 31 million people.

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