3 Places Where Weed is Illegal but Tolerated


A few countries have decriminalized but not legalized the use of weed. In short, you can possess small amounts of weed in these countries without being sent to jail. But, if you are found with large amounts of the drug, you could face serious consequences. Below are three places where weed is illegal but tolerated.

1. Amsterdam

Did you know that 25-30 percent of people who visit Amsterdam spend time in a coffee shop? Sounds interesting but what’s even more interesting is that the coffee isn’t so great. So why would people spend so much time in a coffee shop? It’s because these coffee shops sell weed over the counter.

Weed, however, is not legal in Netherlands but the authorities are willing to turn a blind eye only if you possess less than 5 grams of the substance. Coffee shops are only allowed to have a maximum of 500gms of weed at any given time. People who grow at most five plants marijuana aren’t usually persecuted.
Now, in order for you to open up a “coffee shop” in Amsterdam to sell weed, you need to get a permit to trade from the relevant authorities. Because of this, Dutch drug law is very confusing. Coffee shop owners are also not permitted to buy the weed; they have to employ buyers who source the weed and sell it in the shop. This way, the coffee shop owner is able to ensure that there is always no more than 500 gms of the drug in the shop.
If it becomes legal to grow marijuana, coffee shop owners won’t have to worry about sneaking in third party buyers through the back door. In fact, it would make it much easier for them to operate their shops safely.

2. Argentina

You can smoke weed in Argentina if you have a prescription from a licensed physician. The Argentine Congress passed a law in March 2017 that legalized use of weed for medicinal purposes. The patients, however, are not allowed to grow cannabis.
If you are caught growing, selling or in possession of pot, you could face a jail sentence of up to 15 years. Despite the drug being illegal, people still smoke it openly in public especially in pubs, night clubs and even parks. People also plant weed in their homes.
If the police catch you with small amounts of weed, they will ask for a bribe and let you off with a warning.

3. Australia

35.5% of Australians have tried using weed in the past year and 750, 000 people use it every week while 300, 000 smoke it every day. This is a very interesting observation especially since recreational cannabis is illegal in Australia.
It’s only recently that some parts of the country started to legalize the use of medical marijuana and patients were only allowed to use it if other conventional methods of treatment were no loner working.
The country isn’t so keen on implementing punitive drug policies because the country is more focused on harm minimization strategies.
Harm minimization basically involves policies that lessen negative physical or social consequences associated with human behaviors. In this case, the policies are used to manage behaviors such as the use of weed for recreational purposes.