Is Weed Legal In Iceland

Is weed legal in Iceland? The essential guide to marijuana laws in Iceland

Marijuana is a hotly debated topic worldwide, and laws vary depending on where you go. If you plan to visit Iceland, you’re probably more interested in the country’s stunning landscapes than smoking. But, is weed legal in Iceland? Let’s find out…

By many measures, Iceland is one of the most progressive countries in the world. Gay marriage has been legal in the country since 2010, and its welfare system helps protect citizens in times of crisis. But when it comes to drug use, laws aren’t so tolerant.

Marijuana in Iceland is a little difficult to understand, but we’ll do our best to break it down for you in this article. Keep reading to find out whether pot is legal in Iceland, whether the laws differ for Reykjavík, and much more.

Is Weed Legal In Iceland

Is marijuana legal in Iceland?

Marijuana laws in Iceland

Believe it or not, there was once a time when recreational marijuana use in Iceland was legal. But in 1969, the government introduced regulations to ban people in the country from using it. These rules became part of legislation in the country in 1974, and weed has been illegal ever since.

Like fellow Nordic country Sweden, Iceland takes a strict approach to cannabis. Bearing in mind that it’s a remote island in the middle of nowhere, your options are quite limited if you even wanted to buy the stuff. But is weed legal in Iceland for importation purposes?

You should think twice about packing cannabis in your suitcase on the way to Iceland. Even if you somehow pass airport security at the airport you’re flying from, you will likely face criminal action when you arrive — and that could include jail time.

Depending on the severity of your offense, you might find that your actions aren’t only applicable to entering Iceland. While it isn’t part of the EU, Iceland is part of the Schengen Zone.

Your attempt to smuggle weed into Iceland could result in you getting banned from entering any Schengen country — which is almost all of the EU, plus Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Is it illegal to grow weed in Iceland?

You know by this point that smoking marijuana in Iceland is not allowed in public — and you will stick out like a sore thumb if you do. However, it’s understandable if you think that laws might differ if you’re out of sight. So, is weed legal in Iceland if you want to grow it?

Again, no — you cannot grow weed in Iceland, and the country’s legislation spreads to cover this. If you try to, and you’re caught, you might again receive some form of criminal action for doing so.

The punishment you receive will, like other forms of marijuana use, depend on how severe the authorities deem your offense to be.

What are the punishments for using weed in Iceland?

Iceland is famous for its hot springs. But if you use weed in the country, the only hot water you’ll likely find yourself in is with the police. Seeing as the justice system in Iceland is pretty fair, you will often have it taken into account whether you’ve committed any offenses in the past.

If you only have a small amount of marijuana on your person, you might receive a fine that’s equivalent to around $500 in USD. Considering that visiting Iceland is expensive enough without needing to break the law, you will find that’s probably going to put a big dampener on your trip.

For repeat offenders, the consequences might be more significant. In some instances, you could receive jail time — which will last for at least three months.

One thing worth noting is that if you’re caught with weed even once, you will receive a criminal record in Iceland — and you cannot get rid of this. So, again, it’s worth thinking twice before you decide to get high in the country.

Police in Iceland need a specific warrant to stop and search people they suspect possessing weed. But despite some saying they’re lenient toward the drug, that’s far from the case.

As Iceland Mag mentions:

“The claim that the authorities turn a blind eye to cannabis smoking or possession of small amounts of the drug is also wrong. While people don’t face time in prison for possession of small amounts for personal use, the police will arrest anyone carrying or consuming cannabis.”

The same article mentions that 29 people were arrested at the 2015 Extreme Chill festival, and many of these were related to suspicions of marijuana possession for “personal consumption”.

Is Weed Legal In Iceland

What are marijuana laws in Iceland for medical purposes?

Recreational marijuana use is often banned in many parts of the world. So, you’re probably not surprised that’s the case in Iceland as well — regardless of how progressive the country is.

However, cannabis is often used for medical purposes in some countries — even if ordinary weed consumption isn’t allowed.

Is weed legal in Iceland for medical use, then?

The answer is that it depends. Laws remain strict in this respect, and the only approved form of medical cannabis in the country is Sativex. Doctors can give patients marijuana if they feel it’s necessary to do so, but that’s the only time you’re allowed to consume the drug.

Will there be a cannabis reform in Iceland?

While marijuana wasn’t made illegal in Iceland that long ago, the country has become more lenient towards other things in the past. For example, beer was banned until 1988; you can now see the country’s love for it very clearly in Reykjavík’s lively nightlife scene.

Having said that, alcohol sales are still strictly controlled; you need to visit a state-run liquor store to purchase your tipple or booze.

Although Icelanders enjoy a drink, what are their thoughts toward marijuana?

Well, the idea of legalizing the drug has been discussed before. Pawel Bartoszek, a politician in the country, put forward the possibility of legalizing cannabis in 2017. Bartoszek — who became elected onto Reykjavík’s City Council in 2018 — said on his website

“Decriminalization, without regulation, would be a step forward. But if production and sales continue to be illegal, we will lose the opportunity to do exactly what matters: control production, control access, protect children and young people, and tax consumption.”

Bartoszek continued:

“I have submitted a bill which will set rules on the production, sale, and treatment of cannabis substances and allow consumption… With me on the bill is Sigrún Inibjörg from Viðreisn together with two MPs from Pírat, Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson and Jón Þór Ólafsson.”

The bill proposal suggested several things, including a tax on cannabis; this would be 20,000 Icelandic Króna. It also mentioned a ban on advertising, along with the legalization of the production, selling, and consumption of the drug.

But as of 2022, weed remains illegal in Iceland.

Is weed popular in Iceland?

Considering Iceland’s strict approach to weed and its remote location, it would be easy to think that the drug is non-existent in the country. However, that is not necessarily the case.

Cannabis consumption exists in Iceland, though it’s nowhere near as high as some articles have suggested online. The Iceland Mag piece mentioned earlier fact-checks this, stating that 6.6% of people in Iceland had tried weed in 2012.

The country is the 29th-largest consumer of marijuana on the globe, which — while the statistics aren’t as high as many think — is still relatively high considering the country’s population.

Like Sweden, many Icelanders are fine with their strict marijuana laws — even if they’re much more tolerant in other areas of society.

Is Weed Legal In Iceland

Is smoking weed legal in Reykjavík?

Most of Iceland’s population lives in or around the region surrounding Reykjavík, which is the country’s only real city of significant size.

Considering that the capital region is one of the country’s eight administrative areas, and some provinces in other countries allow for laws to differ, it’s understandable if you want to know whether laws are different in Reykjavík.

Again, the simple answer is no — you cannot smoke weed in the Icelandic capital. Similarly, growing and selling hash is not allowed — and you will face the same legal consequences as would be the case if you were caught in another part of the country.

Weed isn’t legal in Iceland

Is weed legal in Iceland, then? Despite its largely liberal stance on many issues, marijuana is certainly not one of those.

If you’re caught with cannabis on your person in the country, don’t expect the police to ignore you — and if you try smuggling the drug into Iceland, you will likely get hit with severe punishments.

While some Icelanders smoke weed recreationally, it’s by no means universal. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, you should think about the other activities you can do here; there’s more than enough to see without needing to feel high!

Iceland is often considered part of Scandinavia, but is that entirely true? For your next article, why not find out for yourself?

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. Stay tuned and we’ll bring the essence of Scandinavia to you.

Advertising enquiries

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. To advertise your brand to a global audience, contact our advertising team below.