Is It Legal to Smoke Weed on Antarctica?

Antarctica in the Earth’s southernmost continent with a population that consists mostly of penguins and researchers. With some of the coldest, driest, and windiest climates, it’s no surprise that Antarctica is barely inhabited by people, although many cruise ships take travelers there year round. Due to the lack of people, Antarctica also isn’t home to a governing body, so several countries claim sovereignty in certain regions of the continent. Since 1959, Antarctica’s status has been governed by the Antarctic Treaty and other related agreements, for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic. The primary purpose of this treaty is to ensure, “in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord."  

Applicable Laws if You Smoke Weed on Antarctica

The Antarctic Treaty also prohibits military action, nuclear explosions, and nuclear waste, while promoting scientific research and the exchange of data. Nowhere in this treaty does it mention marijuana however, so whether a person can smoke in Antarctica is unclear, because there are technically no laws prohibiting it. Though, if you do commit a crime, you’re charged under the law of your home country, and in the United States, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, so technically it is not illegal to smoke weed in Antarctica, but  be aware of your own country’s marijuana laws before attempting to smoke.


Many hospitals and nursing homes across the country deny patients access to medical cannabis, including those in states where medical - or even recreational - cannabis is legal. The reason? These institutions rely on Medicare and other federal subsidization for their funding.

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