The punishment for cannabis use and distribution in the United States is criticized for how harsh it has been for decades. However, there are countries where the punishment for getting caught with weed is far worse.
For example, in South Korea, cannabis is treated the same as any other illicit drug and you can be imprisoned for having traces of marijuana in your system from before you came to the country. If you think that’s bad, did you know you can be killed for weed in these countries listed below?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the drug laws are strict in China. But getting caught with a small amount of weed in China won’t result in your death.
However, getting caught vending a large quantity can result in the death penalty.
In fact, we’ve recently reported on China putting on public death sentences for drug traffickers as a part of their anti-drug campaign.
Cannabis is illegal in Egypt with the original ban dating back to 1877. It was one of the first countries to ban cannabis and it still has some of the harshest cannabis laws.
In fact, an Egyptian court sentenced a British prisoner to death for smuggling three tons of hashish by boat in 2013.
Singapore was one of the first countries to ban cannabis in the 1800s. Not much has changed since then.
Visitors could spend time in jail for possession. Dealers could face the death penalty, even for cannabis.
In fact, a soccer player coming from Nigeria to Singapore was caught with nearly 92 ounces of cannabis learned this the hard way.
After getting caught, the prosecutor didn’t need to prove his guilt, it is the defendant’s job to prove his own innocence.
Since possession of over 15 grams is considered trafficking by default, a man visiting Singapore was hanged for marijuana.
Edit 2019: Since this year they do allow safe and controlled access to evidence-based medical treatment options with cannabis.
Since the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, capital punishment has been the highest punishment for anyone caught with enough weight of any of the drugs in the act.
According to the act, 200 grams of cannabis or cannabis resin equals mandatory death by hanging. Possession alone could lead to five years in prison and a fine.
In 2016, a man in Malaysia was sent to the gallows by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital.
Edit 2019: Some attempts where made to legalize medical cannabis, but the legislation is on hold for now.
Myanmar (Also Known As Burma)
Southeast Asian governments have some of the toughest drug laws on the planet. Myanmar is no exception.
In fact, a vegetable seller named Nur Alam Mohd Hussain was found guilty of possessing five pounds of cannabis which he said was “fictitious.”
The sentence he was given was death, which would be the first death sentence for drugs in Myanmar in the last ten years.
According to Hussain, he was making a delivery for a third person when police surrounded him at a gas station. He claims he thought the envelopes given to him were holding stolen car parts.
However, Myanmar authorities weren’t buying it. They say he should have been able to smell 5 pounds.
According to New Straits Times, by not reporting it, “it can be concluded that he had knowledge that the cannabis was for trafficking.”
The Philippines is pretty much the last place you want to be caught with weed in. If you’re so much as suspected of being involved with the use or distribution of any drug, you could be killed with no trial.
President Rodrigo Duterte publicly endorsed the killing of suspected drug users and sellers.
Since then, an estimated 12,00 people have died from the war on drugs in the Philippines.
Edit 2019: The medical cannabis bill made it legal to use marijuana to benefit patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions.
HB 6517 defines this as any disease causing wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Saudi Arabia is known for its harsh drug laws. You can be killed for weed possession as well as for other drugs.
As a matter of fact, a couple of Yemeni citizens were reportedly executed for smuggling hash into the country. Hash is a potent form of cannabis made from compressing cannabis resin.
They were beheaded for their crime and the country has a history of executing people over drug offenses. So we wouldn’t recommend riding dirty in Saudi Arabia.
Even if you don’t have the amount of weight on you to warrant a death sentence, many countries have strict weed laws. You can face extended prison time or deportation for getting caught with personal amounts of weed in certain countries.
So make sure you research the weed laws of any country before visiting. We don’t recommend buying, sneaking or smoking weed in countries where you can be killed for weed.
Some info from: High Times