Living in America, weed has become pretty common and way more accepted than it used to be. Even states like Texas have medical laws in place, although you probably wouldn’t want to get caught in the Lone Star State with a doobie.
But what about when you travel out of the US? While some countries have gone full-blown legal, there’s still places in the world where pot is seriously frowned upon. The infractions could face for trafficking can be horrendous, and in some spots on the globe even getting caught with a pinch of herb can land some heavy consequences.
1. The Philippines
Until 2006, possession of marijuana in the Philippines could land you the death penalty. This isn’t to say it isn’t widely used in these Pacific islands. It’s the second most used drug (aside from meth), but possession can land people in prison for ten years and facing fines up to 400,000 Philippine pecos ($8000US).
In 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a “war on drugs.” Since then the Philippine National Police and unknown vigilantes have killed over 7,000 people using or suspected of using drugs.
If you were thinking about trafficking illegal weed in Singapore, you might want to think again. Anything over 500 grams will get you the death penalty. And even if you’re caught carrying smaller amounts of cannabis, you’ll still go to jail (possibly for a long, long time) and face fines up to $20,000 Singapore dollars. Just last year, two men were hung for trafficking 2,604.56 grams of cannabis.
3. Saudi Arabia
The next time you’re in Saudi Arabia, it’s best you leave your cannabis at home. Saudi Arabia has a three strikes policy against cannabis. On your first offense, you will receive imprisonment for 7 months. The second offense will get you 7 years. The third time a person is caught with cannabis they face death.
A man was caught with 59 kilograms in Saudi Arabia in early 2017. He was fined 100,000 Saudi Arabian riyals ($25,000US), got 10 years in prison, received 1,200 lashes, and was banned from travelling abroad for 10 years after serving the 10 years in prison.
People use cannabis all over Indonesia. It still carries some extremely harsh penalties if you’re caught with it however. Get caught with one joint, and you’ll go to jail for four years. Indonesia became infamous for its strict cannabis laws when an Australian woman was caught with over four kilograms of cannabis stuffed into her bodyboard bag. She received nine years in prison in Bali, was on parole for three years, and was just allowed to return to Australia in early 2017.
5. United Arab Emirates
The Arab capital of Dubai is the best-known emirate out of the seven that make up the United Arab Emirates. All seven are known to have some of the harshest drug laws in the world. Even a small trace of cannabis will get a person a minimum mandatory sentence of four years in prison. In extreme cases, cannabis found in a person’s urine can be considered possession.
In Dubai in 2008, a British man was arrested for a bit of cannabis found on the thread of one of his shoes that weighed 0.003 grams. His original sentence was four years, but was acquitted after serving a few months.