The Maximum Punishment Possible for Nonviolent Marijuana Crimes Around the World
by Ash Navabi
Everyone knows different countries treat drugs differently. For example, if you get caught buying or selling a large amount of marijuana in Canada, you’re probably not going to get your head chopped off by the government–but in Saudi Arabia, that is the law.
I wanted to see just how different the laws were in world when it came to nonviolent marijuana crimes: that is, if one or more people are breaking a marijuana-related crime (like buying, selling, smoking, or producing) and they didn’t hurt anyone in the process, what is the worst that can legally happen to them?
So I made the following map. I primarily relied on two sources:
1. http://www.legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes Which has the English translation of many countries’ criminal codes
2. http://www.ihra.net/files/2010/06/16/IHRA_DeathPenaltyReport_Web1.pdf Which gaves detailed breakdowns of countries that have the death penalty for drug offences
And for countries not the in the above two sources, I manually searched the internet for their penal codes, occasionally using Google Translate to help me out.
So here are the results. Rmemember, this is a map of the maximum punishment you can receive for nonviolent marijuana offences. So if you are a nonviolent producer, seller, user, distributor, importer or exporter:
Red countries will (potentially) kill you if you commit certain marijuana crimes (usually heavy trafficking, but sometimes repeat minor offenders are also executed);
Green countries will (potentially) throw you in prison for at least 20 years for committing certain nonviolent marijuana crimes;
Orange countries will (potentially) imprison you for some period of time less than 20 years for committing certain nonviolent marijuana crimes.
(White countries I either couldn’t find the law for, or I found their legalese unclear.)
Hopefully one day we’ll live in a world where no one is thrown in jail for nonviolent marijuana offences.