Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana across the Globe

The controversial topic legalization of medical marijuana is not only present in the United States but also throughout the world. In other parts of the world, the question has met much criticism as well as approval by the stakeholders in the legal and health sector (Martín-Sánchez, Furukawa, Taylor, & Martin, 2009).  This section of the paper will highlight how the rest of the world is handling the issue of legalization of medical marijuana.

As a start, we look at Europe. The majority of the countries in Europe have approved or legalized medical cannabis drugs. Countries such as France, Portugal, Spain, England and Germany just represent a tip of the iceberg; there are more. On the flip side countries like Russia, Czech Republic, and a few others still, haven’t passed the proposition of medical marijuana into law. Worth noting, however, is the situation in those countries (Bostwick, 2012). Although some have passed the laws that supposedly allow for the provision of medicinal cannabis, no everyone has a permit to use it.

Equally important to note is that whereas some countries allow for prescription of synthetic cannabinoids or derivatives of marijuana, they never actually allow the utilization of the whole plant cannabis (Bostwick, 2012). The other countries have relaxed policies that allow a range of cannabis medication, cannabis social clubs, and even personal medicinal cultivation.

In Asia, China is leading among the states that have legalized medical marijuana; in fact, Chinese physicians have long recommended a type of tea made with cannabis as a treatment for many conditions such as malaria and gout (Martín-Sánchez, Furukawa, Taylor, & Martin, 2009). In South America, Uruguay has recently joined the fold of countries that have legalized marijuana in its entirety, Peru to appears to be soon following suit.  Moving north to the Caribbean nations, Jamaica is miles ahead as one would have thought. The country even has plans underway to launch the first medical marijuana company; MediCanja.

Finally, there isn’t much light shed on the topic in Africa except for the fact that medical marijuana is legal in South Africa. The drugs are illegal in the majority of the other countries (Morris, TenEyck, Barnes, & Kovandzic, 2014).




Bostwick, J. (2012). Blurred Boundaries: The Therapeutics and Politics of Medical Marijuana. Mayo Clinic Proceedings87(2), 172-186.

Martín-Sánchez, E., Furukawa, T., Taylor, J., & Martin, J. (2009). Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cannabis Treatment for Chronic Pain. Pain Medicine10(8), 1353-1368.

Morris, R., TenEyck, M., Barnes, J., & Kovandzic, T. (2014). The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006. Plos ONE9(3), e92816.