Yesterday the Canadian Senate passed the Cannabis Act, which almost ensures that the country will legalize recreational marijuana before the end of the year. And while we knew Canada was likely to become the next country to legalize cannabis, now the question is who will follow them.
Here are the 10 most likely countries to legalize marijuana after Canada:
Current French President Emmanuel Macron eliminated mandatory sentences for minor marijuana crimes almost immediately after taking office. He's also suggested that he wants to change more of the country's laws related to cannabis. Could he become the person who shepherds in legalization?
While marijuana is illegal in Iceland, some surveys have shown that the country has the highest percentage of adults using the drug in the entire world. Around 18 percent of Icelandic adults use cannabis. Some efforts have already begun to legalize the drug, but considering everyone seems to already be using it, they may not have to actually make a law.
Like The Netherlands, Spain also has laws in place that allow the purchase and consumption of cannabis at some cafes. It seems only logical that the next step would be to allow other places to sell marijuana as well.
Portugal was one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to drug policy. In 2000, they decriminalized all drugs, and decided to treat addiction as a medical issue and not a crime. Legalizing cannabis recreationally seems like a logical next step in their progressive attitudes.
6. The Netherlands
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana isn't actually legal in The Netherlands. But consuming the drug at designated cafes is allowed. But if more countries begin to join the legalization train, The Netherlands may finally decided to drop the formalities and simply embrace cannabis all the way.
While many people look to Europe as the next place for marijuana legalization, the truth is many of those countries have such lax laws that cannabis may as well already be legal. Peru also has very lax laws, but considering they're proximity Uruguay, the first country to legalize recreational marijuana in the world, they may soon follow suit to steal some of their neighbor's thunder.
One of Colombia's biggest efforts to eliminate drug trafficking actually involves marijuana legalization. The country has legalized medical marijuana and they actually want to become of the world's largest exporters of legal cannabis in the next few years. Perhaps legalizing the drug recreationally will be part of those plans.
3. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has actually become one of the hottest spots for cannabis tourism in Europe. The country already has fairly lax drug laws, and they also legalized medical marijuana in 2013. Considering cannabis is already playing a significant role in their tourism, they may decide to embrace it and fully legalize the drug.
While many people imagine that Jamaica is a cannabis wonderland, the drug is still illegal there. But in 2015 they decriminalized small amounts of possession and in 2016 they legalized medical marijuana. So there's clearly a growing cannabis movement in the country, and considering the country's history with the drug, it's not hard to imagine they could legalize it in the next few years.
1. United States of America
Every year more and more states legalize marijuana recreationally. The majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and their numbers are growing. Major politicians now support legalizing the drug. Basically all signs point to the United States legalizing marijuana at the federal level at some point in the future. While it may not be next year or the year after, it's hard to imagine that in 10 years the U.S. won't be a fully legalized country.