MaryJ List

Trends in the Legalization of Marijuana on a Global Scale

Worldwide, trends in legalities vary from country to country, meaning that not all nations have the same ideals when it comes to controversial concepts. The legalization of Marijuana is a perfect example of this put into full action. The United States is lobbying for change to legalize Marijuana nationwide. They have begun their transition in certain states by legalizing it in various levels and forms. This, however; does not correlate with the worldwide trend of the legalization of Cannabis. As a matter of fact, only four countries on Earth currently have Marijuana legalized on a national scale. To put this in perspective, this means only two percent of the countries have fully legalized it on a national scale. With the United States facing the issue head-on, this statistic will rise to 2.6% if they decide to fully legalize it on a national scale(1).

The other side of this, however; regards the practical enforcement of any law illegalizing the substance. As a matter of fact, of the one hundred ninety-five countries to have marijuana illegalized, thirty-nine of them either have it decriminalized, or do not enforce the law to begin with; four of them are completely legal, and one country where it is legal on a more local level. So while only two percent of nations have Cannabis legalized, approximately 22.5% of countries nationwide take no major action against people who do recreationally or medically use Marijuana(2). This may not balance out the one hundred fifty-one countries to still strictly enforce Marijuana, the two-percent statistic can be considered to be a bit deceiving.

Overall, it may surprise people to know that the legalization of Marijuana in the United States does not correlate with the opinions of the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, the legalization of Marijuana around the world has only a two percent support rating right now. The most influential nations in support of Marijuana include The United States, Uruguay, and North Korea. A few of the nations in transition to majority approval of Marijuana include Canada, Russia, and Brazil. Finally, some of the nations who are still strongly opposed to it include: China, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. There are still countries on all sides of the table, but the fastest-growing stance on Marijuana is the one currently transitioning from social disapproval to social approval. In conclusion, world influence fluctuates when regarding the legalization of Marijuana, but could soon trend in a more approving direction.

(1) "10 Countries Leading the Push for International Marijuana Legalization." The Cheat Sheet. May 22, 2015. Accessed October 15, 2015. http://www.cheatsheet.com/politics/10-countries-that-have-or-will-see-marijuana-legalization.html/?a=viewall.

(2) "Legality of Cannabis." Wikipedia. September 24, 2015. Accessed October 15, 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis.

-Jammin Joe

10/16/15