In May 2014, Isabela congressman Rodolfo Albano III filed House Bill 4477 or "The Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana." It was seen as a step towards a gentler stance on the happy herb than its current criminalized stature under the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002—which categorizes it in the same bin as meth, coke, and other such chemicalities.
Should the bill pass, that would mark a very liberal moment for our notoriously conservative country—or, at the very least, make the Philippines' underground pot army flash even wider smiles.
Chances are, however, that the bill probably won't get passed anytime soon. So where should you go if you just want to puff on that pipe in peace? Here are countries that are chill with the chongki—and no, it's not just Amsterdam.
Happy 420, everyone!
In April 2014, the Uruguay government legalized weed so that they can cut off the illegal traffickers from the biz. They took control of the local weed industry, including its sale, cultivation, and distribution. Here, weed is sold at $1 (around P45) per gram.
Read more from The Guardian
Pot for personal use has been legal here for decades, and is currently challenging Amsterdam as the world's favorite pot-powered tourist spot with its "cannabis clubs." In those recreational weed centers, individuals are able to smoke pot as they would sip coffee in a, well, coffee shop.
Read more from the NY Times
Technically, weed (and other drugs) is illegal in infamous Amsterdam. In huge quantities at least. In 1976, the Dutch parliament decriminalized the possession of weed—if you're harboring five grams or below. Since then, the law has given rise to "coffee shops" where people can smoke weed freely. Smoking in public places outside of these "coffee shops" is still illegal though.
Read more from CNN
In 2001, Portugal became the first European nation to decriminalize the possession of drugs such as meth, coke, and cannabis. Possession is still illegal, but instead of getting jailed, those caught with the drugs are slapped with a fine and are offered rehab treatment.
Translation: You can smoke up in here, but there's a fine to pay if you get caught.
Read more from Time
The Swiss decriminalized weed in 2013 and doesn't prosecute offenders caught with small amounts, specifically 10 grams or less. Offenders only have to pay the equivalent of $110, without the offense going on their personal record or meriting a court appearance. It is also legal to grow and cultivate up to four marijuana plants for personal use—a move the government made to curb illegal trafficking.
Read more from Huffington Post
This scenic country has the world's biggest pot-smoking population by percentage. The United Nation's World Drug Report in 2014 found that 18.3 percent of Iceland's population tokes up, a whopping 55,000 out of a possible 320,000. Nigeria, Zambia, the U.S., and New Zealand follow with their pot-smoking population ranging from 17 to 14 percent.
Surprisingly, pot here is still illegal and can land individuals in jail for repeat offenses. Its possession and use though are largely tolerated and are socially acceptable—as long as it's not blatantly done out in public.
Read more from Mic.com
Of course it would be perfectly legal to smoke here given that it's Bob Marley's homebase, right? The answer is not until recently. It was only last February 2015 that ganja, as the locals call it, was decriminalized.
Currently, the law allows individuals to possess up to 56 grams of marijuana, and grow up to five plants without having to face a criminal offense. As in other nations where ganja is decriminalized, there is a fine to pay.
Other than that, go on and pass the dutchie!
Read more from The Guardian
While we wouldn't advise booking a trip to Kim Jong-Un's Kingdom, North Korea is surprisingly chill when it comes to weed. Cannabis isn't considered a drug in the area, and is treated more like tobacco—an after-work treat for its citizens who call it "ip tambae" or "leaf tobacco."
Weed grows like, well, weed in North Korea—as in, it grows in the streets, largely ignored.
Read more from Vice
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