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Cannabis laws in the Maldives

Cannabis laws in the Maldives

Table of contents

Medical: illegal 
Recreational: illegal

The Maldives, a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean, has strict laws regarding cannabis. The country has a zero-tolerance policy towards cannabis and imposes severe penalties for any violations, though according to various reports cannabis use is very common. 

History of cannabis laws in the Maldives

Cannabis use has a long history in the Maldives, with the plant being used for medicinal and recreational purposes for centuries. However, the government criminalized cannabis in 1953 under the Dangerous Drugs Act, making it illegal to possess, use, sell, or cultivate cannabis.

In the past, the Maldives had a thriving drug culture, with many of the drugs being transported through the country to other parts of the world. However, in the 1990s, the Maldives government made a concerted effort to combat the drug trade in the country, and this led to an increase in drug-related arrests and prosecutions.

In 2015, the Maldives government introduced a new drug policy, which focused on drug prevention, rehabilitation, and law enforcement. The policy aims to reduce drug use in the country and provide support for those struggling with drug addiction.

Penalties for cannabis offenses in the Maldives

The penalties for violating cannabis laws in the Maldives are severe. Possession of any amount of cannabis can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years, and anyone caught trafficking cannabis can face the death penalty. The government’s zero-tolerance policy towards cannabis also extends to foreigners, who can face the same penalties as locals if caught violating the country’s cannabis laws.

According to the Maldives police, cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the country. In 2019, the police reported that they arrested 1,600 people for drug-related offenses, with the majority of these arrests being cannabis related.

Despite the severe penalties for cannabis-related offenses, there have been some high-profile cases in the Maldives involving drugs. In 2019, a former cabinet minister was arrested for possession of cannabis, and in 2020, a popular Maldivian rapper was arrested for drug-related offenses.

Possible future of cannabis legalization in the Maldives

Currently, there are no indications that the Maldives will legalize cannabis in the near future. However, some politicians and activists have called for a reconsideration of the country’s cannabis laws. In 2020, the Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed, called for the legalization of cannabis, arguing that it could help boost the country’s economy by attracting tourism.

Despite these calls for legalization, the government remains opposed to any changes in the country’s cannabis laws. In a statement released in 2020, the Maldivian police stated that “the use of any type of drugs including cannabis is against Islamic Shariah and Maldivian laws.”

It is essential to understand and respect the Maldives’ cannabis laws to avoid any legal consequences. The country has a strict policy towards cannabis, and any violations can result in severe penalties.

Bottom line on weed in the Maldives

The Maldives has some of the strictest cannabis laws in the world, and the penalties for violating these laws are severe. While there have been some calls for legalization, the government remains opposed to any changes in the country’s cannabis laws. It is important to understand and respect these laws to avoid any legal consequences while traveling in the Maldives.

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