Iceland smokes more marijuana per capita than any other country. Interestingly, marijuana is not legal in Iceland for recreational use. Its small population of roughly 360,000 does make it easier for the country to rank high on this list.
Number two and three are America and Nigeria, countries with populations of roughly 330 million and 200 million respectively. America’s least populated state, Wyoming, has around 50% more people than the entire country of Iceland.
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Iceland Marijuana Laws
The legal status of recreational marijuana in Iceland is simple – it’s illegal. Growing it is illegal, possessing it is illegal, and consuming it is illegal. Being jailed for marijuana in Iceland is still very much a real possibility, even as a tourist.
If you are a first time offender, and it’s a small quantity, you would likely receive a hefty fine instead of a jail sentence, but this is not a given. And by hefty fine, we mean hefty. Possessing a gram could result in a fine of $500 USD.
Medical Marijuana In Iceland
Does Iceland have legal medical marijuana? Not really, no. Currently the country does permit some cannabis based medicines, however being prescribed the raw plant, edibles and concentrates is not permitted. Sativex is the most common cannabis based drug in Iceland, similar to a lot of European countries.
Weed Tourism In Iceland
While Iceland isn’t really known for its weed tourism per se, it is one of the most picturesque countries in the world, naturally alluring stoner explorers. The obvious problem with this is of course cannabis being completely illegal, therefore risking heavy fines and jail time. We are not advocating for anyone to break any laws. Drinking on the other hand is completely acceptable, and very prevalent in the Nordic nation.
I’m sure most people have seen videos of its glaciers, waterfalls and rolling green hills during the Summer. It’s also a perfect country to take a road trip. Given its small size, you can see a lot of the country in a relatively short time. Iceland has a ring road encompassing the country, making it easy to see a lot without driving the same road twice.
Despite the countries very high latitude, and having as little as 4 hours daylight in Winter, most of Iceland doesn’t get all that cold. The average temperature is around 32°F (0°C) during Winter in the larger population areas. For reference, this is the same average minimum for Denmark, a country around halfway between Austria and Iceland. South Dakota doesn’t even reach a high of 32°F during the Winter. In fact in January, the average high temperature South Dakota experiences is 22°F, 10°F cooler than Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.
Public Opinion On Legalizing
It looks like for the foreseeable future marijuana will remain illegal in Iceland. This is because the large majority of government officials and the public support keeping it illegal. This seems quite counter intuitive given the country is literally the largest user of marijuana (per capita) in the world. But, the numbers are slowly changing at least. The below table is based on the question, “are you for or against the legalization of cannabis use in Iceland”.
|Nov 2011||Apr 2016||Aug 2020**|
Source: Iceland Monitor
Now don’t read into the Aug 2020 numbers above too much, these have been extrapolated and scaled. These values are purely an estimate based on the changes between Nov 2011 and Apr 2016. Assuming they are in the ballpark range though, we could expect to see roughly 36% of Iceland’s population supporting legalizing by August 2020. Conversely however, around 64% of the population would still likely oppose legalization. This is still a lot better than 87.3% of people in November 2011.
Sweden Marijuana Laws
What this tells us is that marijuana likely won’t be legal in Iceland anytime soon.