Are weeds legal in Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is an interesting place. It is the largest landlocked nation on earth and is home to the second coldest capital in the world called Nur-Sultan, formerly Almaty (the first is Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia). It is also the most famous country among the five “Stans” (Pakistan and Afghanistan are not included in this count), with one of the main reasons for the film Borat. Weeds are not legal in Kazakhstan, but cannabis grows wild across the country, especially in the Chui Valley.
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Kazakhstan’s cannabis abundance
In Kazakhstan, a lot of weeds grow naturally across the country, especially in the Chui (Chuy) Valley. And when we say a ton of weeds, we really mean thousands of tons. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2006 World Drugs Report found that:
This wild cannabis field appears to be the largest in the worldThe field covers an area of up to 400,000 acres, or up to 6,000 tons of cannabis could be harvested from these fields throughout the state of Rhode Island. It is currently estimated that only 500 tons are harvested because cannabis has a very high THC content for wild cultivation. up to 4%
The cannabis field in the Chui Valley is the main source of cannabis in Central Asia. Central Asia has a population of approximately 80 million people, with the largest populations in Uzbekistan (34 million) and Kazakhstan (18.5 million). The other three stans make up the rest, with Tajikistan (9 million), Kyrgyzstan (6.5 million) and Turkmenistan (6 million).
Kazakhstan weed laws
Details of the weed laws in Kazakhstan do not appear to be readily available online. So let’s start with the big one first. Weeds are not legal in Kazakhstan. The use of cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes is illegal.
Non-medical drug use in public places is just an administrative offense that, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), would be punishable by a fine. However, if the person is caught again within a year, a higher fine will be imposed. Administrative detention is also granted to anyone arrested twice within that year.
Weed in Kazakhstan
The price of weeds per gram in Kazakhstan is between 3 and 10 euros, which is quite expensive considering the exchange rates. But weed use is also not so widespread in Kazakhstan.
Weed in Moldova, another former USSR nation
A survey conducted by the EMCDDA found that only 2.7% of people used marijuana in the past 12 months, which is roughly one percentage point below the world average.