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Marijuana laws changing around the world

It's an issue that divides society - to smoke or not to smoke.

Throughout the world, a number of countries are slowing changing their laws around medicinal and recreational cannabis use. New Zealand's laws have stayed relatively the same for some time, with the exception of cannabis based products now being approved for use, but still tightly controlled.

So, which countries are leading the way in this area, and where can you use it either for fun, or for well-being?

Here in New Zealand, cannabis remains illegal to possess, and illegal to grow.

Medicinal use is tightly controlled but can be granted by the Ministry of Health.

Across the ditch it's a similar story.


From cannabis cafes to death row: drugs laws around the world


The hardline drug policies adopted during the 1980s in the “war on drugs”, including mandatory minimum sentences for some drug-related crimes, has led to extremely high levels of incarceration in the country. The US has more than 2 million people in its jails – the second highest rate of incarceration per capita in the world – about half of whom were convicted of drugs-related crimes.


Marijuana laws take a new turn in Middle East

Recently Mexico became one of the few countries to legalize marijuana cultivation and possession, joining Bangladesh, Colombia, Uruguay, and others. But in some regions, most specifically the Middle East, there is a set of strict laws when it comes to cannabis possession or cultivation.

Marijuana or cannabis is not specifically banned in Islam but its effects have been likened to alcohol, which is banned by the religion, that’s why its ban is so widespread in the Islamic countries for religious reason.


5 Places You Don't Want To Get Caught With Cannabis

Cannabis use is going mainstream in North America, but that's not the case everywhere. If you're travelling to any of these destinations, you'll want to consider a temporary hiatus from herb.


Welsh student's petition leads to cannabis legalisation debate

Parliament will debate the legalisation of cannabis today, following an online campaign led by a university student.

James Owen, who studies at Aberystwyth University, has argued that legalising the class B drug could benefit the UK economy by bringing in an extra £900 million a year in tax.

It will be the first time since 2004 that the issue of legalising the production, sale and use of the drug will be debated in Westminster.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, who has previously worked with cannabis law reform campaigners, will lead the debate.

But campaigners are not hopeful the petition will have any great impact, as a swift Government response online was quick to insist there would be no change to the law.



Countries That Have Legalized and Decriminalized Cannabis For Personal Treatment

Here's an alphabetical list of Countries and States that have legalized treating yourself with the natural plant, cannabis: 

The first up is Argentina where it's legal for personal use in small amounts (in private).

Australia: Illegal (decriminalized in some states) One or two plants may be privately grown for personal use in the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia. Personal grows of up to two plants are decriminalized in the Northern Territory.

Belize: Illegal, but mostly tolerated.

Bolivia: Illegal (but decriminalized).

Botswana: Illegal, but mostly unenforced.


I can get arrested for that? Some acts that could get you in hot water overseas

Thinking of going to Amsterdam to get stoned? Think again. While "coffee shops" still sell all manner of legal ways to get ripped, the law was changed two years ago so that only residents of the Netherlands can legally purchase marijuana in these cafes.

How about feeding pigeons in San Francisco or carrying your shopping in a plastic bag in Rwanda? Sounds harmless but both those acts are actually prohibited.

In Florence, Italy, it is an offence to sit and eat on the steps of major churches and public buildings. 


Abou Dhabi: Experts defend the electronic cigarette to an anti-smoking conference

Health experts have defended the electronic cigarette during a Friday anti-smoking conference in Abu Dhabi, dismissing concerns that she could promote adolescent addiction to nicotine. Most of these experts, however, agreed that it should regulate the use of e-cigarettes because its effects are still too little known.

A real support tool for weaning?

Konstantinos Farsalinos, researcher at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, AFP quoted a study which nearly 19,500 respondents, mainly the United States and Europe, 81% reported having stopped smoking thanks to the electronic cigarette. "On average, they quit in the first month of using the e-cigarette," he said. "We do not see that with any other method to help stop smoking."


Step aside sheesha: Arab teens smoke crushed ants!

Young men in United Arab Emirates have jumped on a bizarre, and weirdly “green” addiction, passing on cigarettes and sheesha to smoking dead ants to get high. They crush local black ants (Pachycondyla sennaarensis) and blend the crumbs in tobacco, drop them into a medhwak (smoking pipe) or sprinkle them on regular smokes before lighting up, according to Gulf News. Health officials say the consequences could be far more harmful than smoking marijuana or hashish.


UAE in 'world's biggest' hashish bust

The UAE has help foil the world’s biggest attempt to smuggle narcotic substances this year by providing information to international coalition forces which have made a huge haul of drugs on the high seas in the Indian Ocean.

The narcotics were being transported from an Asian country to West Africa.

Dubai Police chief Major General Khamis Mattar Almazina said at a press conference, in the presence of Colonel Eid Thami  Hareb, Director Drug Enforcement Administration: "Based on information provided by us, the international coalition forces in the Indian Ocean was able to stop the boat, seize 5,354kg of hashish estimated to be worth more than $50 million and arrest 14 people on board the vessel.”


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