Which Countries Could Legalize Marijuana Next?

Which Countries Could Legalize Marijuana Next?

Legal marijuana is exploding in the U.S. and picking up steam abroad. These nations could be next to get on board the legalization train.

The legal cannabis industry made a lot of progress in 2018. Medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 states, with recreational marijuana now legal in 10. Not only are more states expected to make pot legal this year, but a few other countries could be doing the same.

Here are a few of them:


Luxembourg could very well be the next country to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. While it’s not clear when this will happen, exactly, the country has already made a few steps in that direction. According to Newsweek, only legal residents would be able to buy weed.


Known for its harsh anti-drug laws and prison sentences, it could seem unlikely that Thailand would ever entertain the idea of legalizing marijuana, but it looks like they’ve changed their tune about medical marijuana. In November, the country’s National Legislative Assembly sent a proposed amendment to Thaliand’s Health Ministry which would reclassify the drug as medicinally legal and regulate its possession and distribution as early as this year. Like with many other countries, the economic potential of the drug appear too much for the traditionally prohibitionist nation to ignore.

The Netherlands

Recreational cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands, but can be bought in specialized coffeeshops thanks to a tolerance policy. The government is debating possible legalization, but wants to test the new “concept” first in several cities.

The goal would be to stop criminal activity related to cannabis. It would also save the government a lot of money, because, as long as the drug remains illegal, police officers are having to raid grow houses several times a week.

New Zealand

Next year could be a big one for marijuana lovers in New Zealand. Andrew Little, the nation’s justice minister, announced that a referendum would be put on the ballot in 2020, and that “the results would be binding.” according(https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/world/asia/new-zealand-recreational-cannabis-referendum.html) to the New York Times.

South Africa

In 2018, it became legal for adults to consume marijuana at home, as well as grow it for their personal consumption. The highest court in the country ruled that prohibiting it would be violating the privacy of the country’s residents.

The next step would be creating some kind of dispensary system where people can legally buy cannabis. For now, it’s impossible to legally buy the drug in the country or consume it in public places.