It is a perfect time to be a marijuana enthusiast if you live in Canada. The journey to legalization in many countries seems to be a trend in recent years, with Canada recently joining the list of leading countries where recreational use of marijuana is legal, albeit most countries aren’t as liberal as Canada when it comes to the rules. However it seems like yesterday when anti-marijuana PSA’s were commonly shown on television.
If you’ve ever watched the popular show by National Geographic called Banged Up Abroad where ‘dream vacations turn into hellish nightmares’ then you might have an idea that some countries are not very forgiving when it comes to marijuana possession.
Some countries across the globe including most of the US are terrible when it comes to the use and possession of marijuana which an lead to arrest, severe penalties including harsh sentences. In more strict countries the smallest amount of wee can get you into serious trouble, ranging from deportation, public floggings, lifetime imprisonment, to even death.
Below are 7 worst countries in the world for a pothead.. DUM DUM DUMMM!
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Use or possession of drugs in the UAE is a serious offense. Even possession of the tiniest quantity of any illegal drug, including weed, can see you serve a minimum of four years in prison. The punishment for drug trafficking in UAE is a death sentence. Surprisingly, even detectable amounts of any drug considered illegal in your bloodstream are treated as drug possession. Ensure you are familiar with the custom and laws prior to traveling to the UAE, one of the nations with the harshest marijuana laws. Fortunately, most individuals visiting the United Arab Emirates aren’t going for weed tourism. This country has high technology and intense airport security aimed at detecting trivial amounts of pot. Authorities frequently pull visitors aside for casual drug testing, so it is advisable to abstain from the use of marijuana a few days before your trip to Emirates.
Japanese megacities like Tokyo treat tourists with a wide array of vices such as alcohol, sex, and an underground music scene, but finding marijuana is almost impossible. Japanese people consider possession and use of marijuana a taboo. If the locals find you smoking weed, chances are, they will inform the police instantly. Marijuana has been illegal in this country since 1948, and its possession and use can land you around five years in prison with hard labor or even a fine. The cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana are punishable by around 7-10 years in prison along with hard labor and a huge fine.
Once arrested in Japan, you are likely to be put in detention and denied bail for a couple of months or more as investigation and court proceedings happen. Foreigners caught with marijuana are less likely to be imprisoned once the legal process ends, but deportation and a lifetime ban from entering Japan are inevitable.
Indonesia has more than 7,000km of coastline, making it impossible to prevent smuggling of illegal drugs like ecstasy, heroin, and amphetamines. However, the country has one of the strictest drug laws in the world. Its law categorizes drug into three broad groups, with the first category consisting of almost all recreational drugs. Unluckily, weed and hashish fall into the same category as meth, heroin, and cocaine.
If arrested in Indonesia for weed possession, you may end up with a 4-12 years imprisonment and fines to the tunes of tens or hundreds of thousands of US dollars. The Indonesian Anti-Narcotics Agency can slap you with a death sentence if they find you guilty of trafficking more than 1kg of marijuana. While your country may try to help you, you should bear in mind that Indonesia has a complex history as far as foreigners and drugs are involved. For instance, the Indonesian court slapped nine foreigners of different origins, popularly called the Bali 9, with life imprisonment and death sentence after they were found guilty of attempting to traffic 18 pounds of heroin to Australia.
France is another country that is strangely tough on cannabis. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) points out that the France drug laws don’t differentiate possession for private use or smuggling, or by type of substance. The French authorities, therefore, enforce jail time for a wide range of drug possession offenses. Even an insignificant quantity of weed could land you in serious trouble in France. A small quantity of weed could see you serve a year in jail or pay a fine of a thousand euro. Charges for larger drug possessions can range from a decade to life imprisonment.
Strangely enough, marijuana has been used in China for centuries. It was utilized for fiber as well as ritual practices within Taoism. In 2016, a stash of cannabis aged 2,500 years was excavated from an ancient tomb located in northwest China, serving as a proof that ancient Chinese people utilized cannabis for spiritual purposes. Unfortunately, despite this strong evidence, marijuana has been illegal since 1985 in China. Many individuals in China still confuse marijuana with the drug opium that led to serious economic and social disorder in China in the course of the opium wars with Britain and a few other Western nations. China has put in place some of the stringent drug laws in the globe and often executes drug traffickers by firing squad or lethal injection.
According to China’s Section Seven of the Criminal Law, Cannabis falls in the category of narcotics and people who import, traffic, manufacture, or transport illegal drugs are generally sentenced to property confiscation together with a potential 15 years imprisonment, life imprisonment, and sometimes death
An exceedingly conservative nation, Turkey has quite strict drug laws. In fact the sale or possession of any drug in Turkey, including marijuana, can attract a prison sentence of between four and twenty-four years. You will get at least 10 years in prison for selling weed and five more years if the buyer is a minor.
It isn’t surprising that Saudi Arabia, a country without liquor stores or bars, is in this list of 7 worst countries for cannabis. Possession or use of weed in Saudi Arabia could attract public floggings, deportation, and long jail sentences. Drug trafficking or smuggling is punishable by death, by beheading, firing squad, or hanging.
A marijuana-themed vacation will be unforgettable, but you should familiarize yourself with local laws and norms before lighting one up. Don’t assume that these countries will treat you differently just because you are a foreigner. The reality is that they will make an example out of you. When planning to visit such countries, make sure you understand the drug laws. In fact, don’t smoke or use weed at least a few days before the trip.