The South American nation of Uruguay first took the metaphorical steps on the moon of legalizing marijuana in 2013, followed by Canada on October 17, 2018. More than two dozen more countries decriminalized and/or relaxed their laws as well. Here are other countries that may follow suit:

NEW ZEALAND

NZ announced late 2017  that medical marijuana would be allowed.  Officials are to hold a national referendum by 2020 on the possibility of legalization and regularization of the adult use of cannabis. Until then, recreational use remains illegal, with penalties ranging from a $500 fine for possession to a 14-year jail term for growing or selling.

MEXICO

Cornered by drug war violence, Mexico decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and other drugs in 2009. Mexico Supreme Court rulings started in 2015, and the debate for marijuana legalization ensued, arguing that people should be able to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use.

Olga Sanchez Cordero, the country’s incoming interior minister, has been to some of those rulings as a Supreme Court justice and has said she will push for marijuana legalization. She has the blessing of incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who recently won in July and whose party controls both houses of Mexico’s Congress.

THE NETHERLANDS

Due to the failure of the  ‘limited’ legalization of pot in the late 1970’s to deter marijuana users from harder drugs, the new Dutch government has committed to a trial program by which it will license a producer to provide marijuana in six to 10 cities.

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa’s Supreme Court ruled September 2018 that adults can use and grow marijuana personal consumption – in private.

ITALY

During late 2016, Italy legalized the production of hemp — a version of cannabis with a very low THC content. Since then, the dried flowers of those plants have been sold in some shops, giving reform advocates new hope.

UNITED STATES

More than 30 states have authorized the medical use of marijuana, and nine have approved recreational use by adults. Both North Dakota and Michigan have ballot measures on recreational legalization come November.

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