As US legislation of the least dangerous drug steadily relaxes, the world still suffers from "reefer madness" in many places. The penalties for being caught with just a single gram of weed range from absolutely nothing to the ultimate price — your life.

We checked out the laws of several countries that represent the huge range of punishments that can be levied on a small time chiba-lover.

What are the penalties for possession of a gram of weed around the world?. Image 1.

We chose 9 CITIES across the globe, from
New York to Saudi Arabia, to retrieve our data.







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According to Amsterdam's official informational site, "a maximum of 5 grams will not lead to investigation or prosecution."






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GOES AS HIGH AS: An acceptable bribe.

Weed for personal use is officially decriminalized in Colombia as of 2012 but due to many shifts in the law over the last 20 years, but not all police are well-informed and may still harass you. 24% of Colombians report having paid a bribe in the last 12 months though, so you could probably get out of it.

Fun Fact: The decriminalization is protected by "the right to the free development of personality," an outlook that is quite unique to the country. 


New York

United States of America



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STARTS AT: Anything under 25 grams is up to $100 for the first offense. The exact fine is left to the judges discretion.

GOES AS HIGH AS: $250 for a third offense. 

Based on the publicly available information from Norml, a non-profit dedicated to weed legalization in the United States. 



United States of America


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STARTS AT: $0 and a misdemeanor offense

GOES AS HIGH AS: A misdemeanor offense and $1000 fine and/or 1 year in jail.

Based on the publicly available information from Norml, a non-profit dedicated to weed legalization in the United States.




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STARTS AT: $20,000 fine

GOES AS HIGH AS: 10 years in prison or that and a $20,000 fine.

FUN FACT: Possession of more than 500 grams carries a death sentence.

According to Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau. These penalties apply to possession as well as consumption of weed.  



South Korea



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STARTS AT: One month in jail

GOES AS HIGH AS: Five years in jail and a fine of 50 million won
(about $45 thousand).

FUN FACT: Weed is legal in North Korea.





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GOES AS HIGH AS: $50,000

Drug use is legal in Spain and anyone is allowed to grow or smoke weed in their own home but the penalties above can be applied if you are caught with drugs in public. You really have to go out of your way to get into trouble because possession of up to 50 grams is still considered to be for personal use. The law will mostly get involved if you are caught smoking in public or some other brazen act.


Hong Kong 


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STARTS AT:  $100,000 and 3 years in prison

GOES AS HIGH AS: $100,000,000 and 7 years in prison

According to Hong Kong customs website the difference in punishment is determined by whether the offense was a summary conviction or a conviction on indictment. 



Saudi Arabia


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STARTS AT: Public lashings and imprisonment

GOES AS HIGH AS: Beheading, stoning or crucifixion 

Saudi Arabia follows the Hanbali school of Sharia Law and has no civil code. Sentencing is determined by the judge. Death sentences are often reserved for drug smuggling, but it happens for simple possession as well.


What are the penalties for possession of a gram of weed around the world?. Image 2.

Rhett Jones


What are the penalties for possession of a gram of weed around the world?. Image 3.

Antwan Duncan