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Cannabis Timeline


  • The Netherlands divided drugs into more- and less-dangerous categories, with cannabis being in the lesser category. Accordingly, possession of 30 grams or less was made a misdemeanor.


  • Nepal canceled the licenses of all cannabis shops, dealers, and farmers, under pressure from the United States and the international community.
  • Afghanistan's King Zahir Shah outlawed cannabis production, followed by a genuine commitment to eradication, backed by $47 million in funding from the United States government.


  • Comoros' Ali Soilih seized power, and among other radical reforms to gain the support of youth, legalized cannabis in Comoros.


  • South Korea passed the Cannabis Control Act.


  • Paraguay decriminalized personal possession of 10 grams of cannabis or less.


  • Bangladesh banned the sale of cannabis.


  • Lebanon banned and eradicates cannabis, under US pressure.


  • California becomes the first jurisdiction in the United States to legalize cannabis for medicinal use (Proposition 215).


  • Poland criminalized possession of cannabis.


  • Luxembourg decriminalized cannabis.
  • Canada legalized medical cannabis.
  • Portugal decriminalized all drugs, including cannabis.


  • Belgium decriminalized cannabis.


  • The United Kingdom re-classified cannabis as a Class C (less-harmful) drug, before restoring it to Class B in 2009.


  • Chile decriminalized cannabis.


  • Russia reduced the limits for criminal possession of many drugs, with the criminal threshold for cannabis being reduced from 20 to 6 grams for cannabis and 5 to 2 grams for hashish.
  • Brazil decriminalized possession and cultivation of personal amounts of cannabis.


  • Austria legalized medical cannabis.


  • Mexico decriminalized possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis.
  • Argentina decriminalized cannabis.


  • The Czech Republic reduced the penalty for small possession and up to five cannabis plants to a misdemeanor.


  • Denmark approves several cannabis-derived drugs for medical use.


  • Switzerland decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less to a fine.
  • Colombia decriminalized possession of 20 grams or less.
  • Washington State and Colorado voters vote to legalize recreational cannabis; beginning of green rush.


  • Croatia decriminalized possession of cannabis.
  • Uruguay legalized cannabis, becoming the first country in the modern era to explicitly do so.
  • Italy legalized medical cannabis.
  • Romania became the tenth EU country to legalize medical cannabis.
  • The Czech Republic legalized cannabis for medical use.
  • France legalized the sale of medications containing cannabis derivatives.


  • Malta decriminalized cannabis.
  • Colombia legalized medical cannabis.
  • Croatia legalized cannabis-based drugs for specified medical purposes.
  • Jamaica decriminalized possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis and legalized the cultivation for the personal use of up to 5 plants.


  • Austria decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis.
  • North Macedonia legalized medical cannabis.
  • Australia legalized medicinal cannabis at the federal level.
  • Poland legalized medical cannabis.
  • Norway made allowances for medical cannabis.
  • Georgia's Supreme Court ruled that imprisonment for possession of small amounts of cannabis is unconstitutional.


  • Germany legalized medical cannabis.
  • Cyprus legalized the medical use of cannabis oil for advanced-stage cancer patients.
  • Belize decriminalized possession or use of 10 grams or less on private premises.
  • Greece legalized medical cannabis.
  • Mexico legalized medical cannabis having a THC content of 1% or less.
  • Peru legalized cannabis oil for medical use.
  • Luxembourg legalized medical cannabis extracts.
  • Lesotho granted modern Africa's first medical cannabis license.
  • Georgia decriminalized cannabis.


  • Denmark legalized cannabis-based medicines.
  • Malta legalized medicinal cannabis with a prescription.
  • Portugal legalized medical cannabis.
  • Zimbabwe legalized cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.
  • Canada legalized cannabis.
  • Thailand legalized medical cannabis.
  • South Africa decriminalized cannabis.


  • Ireland legalized medical cannabis as part of a 5-year pilot program.
  • Israel decriminalized cannabis.
  • Trinidad and Tobago decriminalized cannabis allowing up to 30 grams per individual and cultivation of 4 plants per household.


  • Australian Capital Territory legalized cannabis possession and growth for personal use.
  • Malawi legalized medical cannabis.
  • Lebanon legalized medical cannabis.
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