With 33 states legalized in North America, we are prompted to wonder what countries are next to legalize cannabis in 2021?
The legalization of Cannabis is a hot topic worldwide. With the U.S. leading the way, most of the world’s stronger countries are among the nations that are now looking forward to legalizing this (formerly) controversial herb.
In October 2018, Canada became the second country to legalize Cannabis for its recreational purposes, and others are soon to follow.
We gathered all the most relevant and latest information to secure our contentions regarding the following five countries that are likely to legalize cannabis this year.
5 Countries are Next to Legalize Cannabis in 2021
October of 2019 saw the use of cannabis deemed unconstitutional to ban in Mexico. The Supreme Court issued five rulings decrying the unconstitutional nature of cannabis prohibition, which argued that cannabis’s prohibition was against the right to the free development of the personality.
The October legislation was postponed until April 2020, so that the country could iron things out – and unfortunately again pushed back to December 2020 due to COVID-19.
Finally, in December, the majority of the Mexican Senate passed a bill to legalize recreational and commercial cannabis, allowing adults to carry 28 grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants.
The bill has to go through the lower house in order to become law, though it looks very likely that it will be done within the coming months. We figure the ‘day of the dead’ will have new life breathed into it with Mexicans puff-puff passing legally all-round.
Not to mention the implication of legalization on the work done by the great Mexican cartels. We will have to wait and see how it all plays out – but we reckon it will be a positive transition.
One of the nations that are responsible for the advancement of cannabis, now appears as if to expand on the progress that came about in 2020.
Israel’s legislators passed two decriminalization bills last year, giving way to making waves in the medical world, now superior to Germany as the largest importer of medical cannabis.
With the country already on a fine track to legalization, November saw its Justice Minister, Avi Nissenkorn, present more refreshing recommendations of a multi-person review which includes leading cannabis reform proposals.
This important piece of legal artillery states that cannabis would become legal in Israel within nine months from approval thereof.
Taking example from Canada’s regulated market in shaping its laws, the major takeaways of Israel’s proposed bills include legalized sales to adults and bans on unlicensed cultivation.
The latter still carries hefty sentences, and unlike Canada, Israel’s marketplace would have laws that allow for some type of branding on packaging.
3. South Africa
As a string of African nations legalize medical cannabis use, South Africa could be the first to further revise its laws for the better.
Opportunity for larger-scale recreational legalization is on track after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of private home use of dagga in 2018 – with the help of the late and great activist Julian Stobbs and his partner Myrtle.
The agreed court decision certainly struck a nice chord for South African citizens and the nation’s regulatory framework. Much like Mexico, South African lawmakers had to work against a deadline to set regulations.
However, South African counterparts received a longer period than Mexican officials were originally granted.
With the 2020 deadline now passed, dagga remains decriminalized with private use deemed legal.
Optimism remains in steps ahead, according to sources, progress is well underway with legislators recently putting forth a bill that includes no limits on seeds and the growing of plants for personal consumption while still capping possession of large amounts.
Another country set to potentially legalize cannabis in 2021, is the Grand Duchy aka Luxembourg. Don’t hold your horses for this one, but Luxembourg’s legalization got side-tracked mainly for the COVID spanner in the works.
While it may be just a four-hour drive from Amsterdam where the weed is flowing – whether legally or illegally – Luxembourg is planning to legalize cannabis for recreational use within the next two years.
This would be the first country in the EU to make cannabis completely legal, while ensuring that its citizens aren’t frequently bringing their economic activity to Amsterdam for cannabis.
In July in 2019, the government announced a two-year plan to legalize recreational cannabis. The plan was explained to Politico by the country’s Health Minister Etienne Schneider, who is a vocal proponent of cannabis legalization, and stated that the drug policy they had over the last 50 years has failed – hence the need for a new one.
Last but not least likely on our list of what countries are next to legalize cannabis in 2021, it’s Brazil. The country’s lawmakers have already accepted the regulations regarding the medical usage of cannabis; however, Brazil’s citizens are not yet allowed to grow their own.
With a few million very eager cannabis-using patients in Brazil that require cannabis products for medical purposes, the government will conduct the sale of such as a trial for three years.
After 90 days of publication in Brazil’s official Journal, the program will be in full effect, and patients will be able to purchase medical cannabis products from registered and licensed pharmacies around the country.
High Aspirations for What Countries are Next to Legalize Cannabis in 2021
Cannabis law relaxation, attempts for regulation, decriminalization and/or legalization on a global scale is partly due to the change in scheduling from the U.N, which removed cannabis from its Schedule IV category.
This, in addition to European courts’ decision that CBD isn’t a narcotic. These two rulings will certainly bode well for countries looking to relax cannabis laws in 2021.