Weird Weed Laws In The US And Abroad

Have you ever tried reading a law and felt like Delmar from “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?”


I’ve been looking into various weed laws in the US and abroad, and can tell you with certainty that I’ve said that way too many times this week. 

Washington DC

Looking toward the future, Mayor Bowser's recently re-proposed Safe Cannabis Sales Act of 2021 will prohibit licenses from being issued to "an outlet, property, establishment or business that sells motor vehicle gasoline. (§ 25-2306 (b) ) So everybody who was looking forward to buying weed at the same place they get Red Bulls, Hot Cheetos, and Tiger Heat Passion Pills at 3am is going to be disappointed.

But wait, there's more! In the 2019 version of this bill, dispensaries were prohibited from operating a drive-thru. In the post-Covid landscape of 2021, that language has been removed. That's right! In the near future, you might actually be able to get some fries with that. Ooh, ask if they have cheese fries.

Just in case anyone's not up to speed on the current state of marijuana affairs here in the Nation's Capital, we'll reiterate. In DC, anyone can grow up to 6 plants and possess up to two ounces of flower, but no recreational sales are allowed to take place anywhere in the District.

You can also give cannabis away legally as a gift as long as you don’t transfer ownership of more than an ounce at a time. You can’t take any form of payment for it, whether that payment comes in the form of cash, cryptocurrency, products, or services. 

Initiative 71 has effectively created a gray market for cannabis where you technically can’t buy cannabis, but there are many storefronts where you can buy products such as artwork, clothing, and such and be given cannabis as a gift. I don’t know about you guys, but this sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. You get something cool for the price you’re paying, and you get the weed for free. 

Who doesn’t like free weed?

You can quickly find weed delivery in DC by using online gifting services, but you can expect them to ask you for a scanned copy of your government issued photo ID before they'll hand over your goods.


Cannabis dispensary businesses can’t have signs that light up in any capacity, whether they are active during the day or at night. No illuminated signs are allowed for any dispensary in the state at any time. Oh cooool, it's just like a real drug deal.


In Delaware, medical marijuana advertisements are restricted to, believe it or not, directories and phone books. Holy shit, are those things still around? Where do you even get one? My chair wobbles real bad. See? /wobbles


In the state of Nevada, if you use more than two different fonts on your dispensary’s signage, you’re in violation of the law. Nevada officially likes sans-serif fonts, as well, and you’re not allowed to use any font that is quirky or decorative in any way. Which is completely counter-intuitive, as everyone knows Comic Sans screams fun.


California has weird laws surrounding how cannabis can be transported. Under current silly law, you can’t transport cannabis products by boat, aircraft, rail, drones, or any human-powered device like bicycles or even skateboards. Sorry, friends, there will be no cowabungas for you today.

California jail inmates over 21 can technically have possession of cannabis under California’s Proposition 64, but there’s no language in the law that authorizes them to actually consume it while they’re incarcerated.

They can’t have any additional charges placed on them for possessing it as long as it’s under the legal limit, but they can’t smoke it, either. Unfortunately, there isn’t a law against prisons punishing inmates for having it. 


You would think that since the government encourages people to quit smoking by almost any means necessary that they would push cannabis users to use edibles instead of smoking flower, right? Or at least not punish them for it.

Well, it seems like they have it a little backward in Maine. Taxes on cannabis edibles there are 2.5% higher than other forms of cannabis.  


Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries offer higher potency products than recreational dispensaries, and as such, the information about where medical dispensaries are located is provided to medical marijuana patients only. Oh, and this weird, obscure little search engine called "Google," I think? Anyone can still Google them. Really top-grade op-sec there, boys, take a bow.


In Nepal, cannabis is completely illegal except for one night a year. 

The Maha Shivratri (the Great Night of Shiva) is the most important of the monthly Shivratri celebrations. Once a year before a new moon in February or March (depending on positions of the planets), devotees dedicate the night to Shiva, the Hindu god of death, on the anniversary of his marriage to the goddess Parvati. Every year on the Great Night, Nepal lifts the ban on smoking cannabis for the Sadhus so they can perform rituals associated with the celebration. 

Barcelona, Spain

In Barcelona, you can consume cannabis freely in private spaces and even cultivate it for your own personal use, but there are no dispensaries in Barcelona. If you want to consume cannabis while visiting Barcelona, the best way to get access is to join one of the local cannabis clubs. Locals who aren’t interested in growing can forfeit their right to grow up to 2 plants if they join one of these clubs.

A cannabis club takes the anonymity and security of its members seriously and they ensure the secrecy of their club’s location. These clubs are extremely private and not advertised so that they don’t create a disturbance to surrounding residents and businesses. They also do not give out information concerning their members, not even to the government.

You can also not become a member of one of these clubs without a sponsorship or a referral from a current club member. A valid government issued ID, a local address, and an annual membership fee will be required.

The weird thing about this is that you’re still not out of the woods just because you get your cannabis from your club, because possession in public is still illegal in Barcelona. Bonkers, right? This makes no sense, but if you’re willing to risk taking cannabis from the club to your hotel room or wherever you’re staying, hide it well on your person, if you know what I mean. That's right, I mean ye olde prison wallet. There she goes, that's a good lad.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam has long been viewed in pop culture as the land of legal drugs, but this isn’t the case. Cannabis isn’t actually legal in the Netherlands, only decriminalized. You’re not going to get into much trouble for having cannabis for your own personal use in small amounts, nor are you going to get in trouble for growing a few plants for your own use, but growing on a large scale simply isn’t tolerated.

So where does the weed in Amsterdam's ubiquitous coffee shops come from? There’s the tricky part: many coffee shops have various buyers go and acquire it for them. Wink's as good as a nudge, hey hey?

You can have 5g in your possession at any given time and it won’t be a problem, but smoking in public is a pretty bad idea. But do it anyway. You'll look like such a badass on InstaFace that a girl might even talk to you. (Disclaimer: do not do it anyway).