While most fair people will argue that the laws against marijuana possession and distribution are harsh in the western world, perhaps we should be thankful for small blessings! While in many countries cannabis seeds and the fully grown crop are perfectly legal, there are many countries with far more authoritarian control that have been known to pass the death penalty for cannabis users, so if you plan on getting high anytime soon, you may want to avoid the following oppressive countries if you value your life!
Used to Have Death Penalty
The Philippines used to enforce the death penalty for a period of 4 years between 2002 and 2006. To qualify for this harsh punishment, you would need to have been carrying over 500 grams of cannabis or over 10 grams of cocaine, ecstasy, morphine, opium or heroin.
Occasional Death Penalty
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Borneo have all sentenced with the death penalty for marijuana related offences in the past. Although the majority of these punishments were for trafficking offences, it would still be considered unwise to bring in any cannabis to the countries even if its intended for personal use.
Dubai has earned special recognition for its zero tolerance approach to drugs. Earlier this year a 25 year old man was sentenced to four years in prison for a 0.003 gram speck of cannabis found on his shoe, and another man was detained for possessing 3 poppy seeds that had fallen off the top of a bread roll! The country uses incredibly sophisticated technology that can detect trace amounts of various drugs and the mandatory sentence is 4 years, so be especially careful if flying to Dubai!
Frequent Death Penalty
Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Peoples Republic of China all still use the death penalty for varying quantities of drugs including cannabis. Thailand made the headlines when it undertook its war on drugs in which 2,275 people were killed, according to Human Rights Watch and many of these were believed to be extrajudicially executed. For its part, China is estimated to kill 500 people per year over drugs offences according to Amnesty International.
As a bonus nation, heres a surprise inclusion: the USA. While it has never actually been law, in 1996 Speaker Newt Gingrich proposed a mandatory death penalty for second time offences of smuggling 50g or more cannabis into the country. The proposal failed. The 1994 Crime Act states that a possible death sentence for marijuana offences would involve 60,000 kilograms of the drum or 60,000 plants, or bring in a profit of more than $20,000,000 per year. Regardless, the Supreme Court has held that only murder and treason constitutionally can carry the death penalty.
So the next time you want to moan about your government allowing the distribution of cannabis seeds but making it illegal to grow them, just remember that more draconian governments can make your life far more difficult sometimes by ending it! If youre planning on travelling to the Far East, you should think twice before packing the bong and the marijuana!