Cannabis Culture around the World

Cannabis Culture around the World

Normally a taboo, cannabis culture defines a social atmosphere depending on cannabis consumption.

For centuries, people have adopted different ways of consuming marijuana. For example, an entheogen, recreational drug, and medicine.

The most ancient history of cannabis consumption takes us back to the Indian subcontinents since the Vedic period.

It dates back to approximately 1500 BCE but really is as far back as 2000 BCE. Back then, it was mostly used for entheogenic purposes.

Some other areas of the world where weed was popular were Ancient China, Central Asia, Africa, the Celts (Indo-European), and the Germanic people.

In modern times the Rastafari movement in Jamaica is associated with the spiritual uses of marijuana.

Western subcultures like hippies, hipsters, hip hop, ravers, and beatniks gave birth to marijuana consumption as an idiosyncratic feature.

Whether you call it weed, marijuana, pot, ganja, herb, or any other modern name, cannabis has been a part of many cultures and religions for centuries around the world.

Today, marijuana consumption is illegal in most parts of the world, unlike the 60s and 70s. However, there are a few corners that let you smoke one in the air and get high.

Let’s take a look at the different cannabis culture around the world.


Uruguay was the first country to legalize the production, sale, and consumption of recreational marijuana in 2014.

In a month, it’s legal to buy up to 40 grams of marijuana from approved pharmacies. But, in order to do that, you have to register with the authorities and let them track your purchase record.

It’s even legal to set up smoking clubs and grow marijuana along with other enthusiasts if you’re a registered user. The number of people involved can be anywhere between 15-45 and can plant up to 99 plants in the same place.


Canadian flag

Canada was the second and the largest country to legalize marijuana nationwide. But medical marijuana was legal in the country since 2001.

Even though recreational smoking is fully legal, the regulations differ according to the provinces and territories.

For example, you can only buy weed online in Ontario via the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store. But in Quebec, you can smoke anywhere.

Other places like Saskatchewan and Yukon territory either licensed private retail stores are allowed to sell weed or you can only smoke in private residences and adjoining properties.

The Netherlands.

The first thing that comes into a stoner’s mind when someone mentions pot and the Netherlands is Amsterdam. Honestly, we don’t blame you, it’s in every stoner’s bucket list.

The city has decriminalized the possession of a small amount of weed (5 grams) for 40 years now. You can literally walk up to a coffee shop and smoke weed.

Be that as it may, it’s illegal to cultivate the plants. So the irony is that all the coffee shops that sell legal marijuana actually source the product illegally.


Public smoking, sale, and production of marijuana are technically illegal in Spain. However, you can find plenty of cannabis clubs around the whole country.

It’s a place where you can smoke pot inside the club’s property, but only a certain amount.

Here, rather than buying marijuana, people pay to own a part of the club. Hence, evading punishment for selling weed.


Iceland might not strike your mind when talking about marijuana, but mind you, it tops the charts as the country that smokes the most weed.

More than 18% of the population smoke weed in Iceland. And together, they smoke a country-wide average of two metric tons of marijuana annually.

Technically, weed is illegal in the country, yet foreign visitors can order weed online. Which gets delivered directly to the Keflavik International Airport.

They have their own levels of the quality of weed found in the country and the prices also vary accordingly.

The U.S.A.

Among the 50 states, weed is legal in 29 states in America. Some states let people smoke for medicinal purposes, while some also let recreational smoking pass.

Weed culture flourished in the United States thanks to the Hippie Movements in the 60s promoting peace and free expressions.

Today, the modern-day hippies have taken the movement to a whole new level.

With boutique weed shops and emerging internet sales, cannabis culture in America is definitely flourishing.



Jamaica is the land of the Rastafaris, so, it’s only natural to connect Jamaica with it’s contribution to cannabis culture.

Rastafarianism is an African-centric religion and social movement that started in Jamaica in the 1930s. It started as a movement to unify and empower blacks who were facing oppression.

For Rastafarian’s, ganja is a portal to deeper spiritual awareness. It’s not just a source to get high but also to conjure up spiritual visions.

According to them, it lets them achieve a heightened state of awareness and reasoning.


Cannabis culture somehow has a direct connection with the Indian people. Weed has always been a major religious factor for the Hindus, thanks to Lord Shiva who is known for his pot-smoking habits.

Cannabis consumption originated in the country as it is mentioned even in the Vedas.

Therefore, even though it is highly illegal, the cannabis laws are still ignored in the country due to its religious connections.

It is even legal to smoke during the Shivaratri and people drink “bhang lassi” during Holi.


Medical marijuana is legal in Argentina since 2017. But weed culture in Argentina is a complete family affair.

There is a group of 136 local families who fought really hard to get their children access to drugs. The children in question all suffer for a range of conditions like epilepsy and autism.

Thus, after the legalization, the pressure these families had to go through has lessened significantly.

Also, if you’re an approved patient, you can get weed for absolutely no money.


Another name that every stoner should have in their bucket list is Cambodia. Especially for their infamous “happy pizza”.

Cannabis is technically illegal in Cambodia, but the authorities tend to go a little slow even if they catch you with an ounce or two.

Weed culture is more relaxed in Cambodia even if it’s illegal. And with the invention of the happy pizza which has cannabis in it, it’s more popular lately.

About the author


Talks to self, more than others. Watches "the Office" all night and quotes Michael Scott all day.
"I am Beyoncé, always."