What's Marijuana Use Like Outside the United States?

Learn how marijuana is regarded and used in countries other than the United States in this Howcast video.

In some countries marijuana is really a normal part of their pharmacies and national drug formulary system. There are national systems for prescriptions for marijuana in Canada and Israel, for example. And other countries in Europe are actually importing from the pharmacies of those countries to stock for their patients, for example other European countries like Norway and Germany and Italy are allowing patients to import from the pharmacies in Holland. So marijuana in those countries, you can find it in your local pharmacy.

In other countries, marijuana is distributed through government-owned shops. For example, in India there is a huge government regulated system where they give people marijuana dissolved in a yogurt drink called lassi. And you can go and purchase that in various, in hundreds of these various shops in some of the states of India. And it’s seen as a spiritual use and the use really goes up for certain times in festivals of the year like Holi or certain Hindu festivals like the birth of Shiva, one of their gods.

In other countries, marijuana is tolerated to be grown in private homes. For example, in Switzerland and in Czech Republic there are systems where they, even to some extent Belgium, they allow people to form small groups called clubs and they grow cannabis together collectively or they grow it in their homes. And that’s completely legal and tolerated in those countries.

So in some countries marijuana is regarded as grounds to put you to death. That’s an unfortunate situation, but it just shows you the extreme. That’s countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia – grounds for death penalty. The framework in different countries is widely varying and not just the United States. It’s really a, kind of, has a schizophrenic approach to marijuana. The states say one thing and the federal government says another. People should know, you should know, that it’s very different in other countries in the world.