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The State of Cannabis Legality in Portugal

Is Cannabis Legal in Portugal?

Let’s address the burning question right away: Is cannabis legal in Portugal? Well, the answer might surprise you. Since 2001, Portugal has decriminalized the possession and use of all drugs, including marijuana. However, it’s essential to understand that decriminalization is not the same as legalization.

So, is it legal? Straight answer:

If it’s prescribed by a doctor and purchased in a pharmacy, then YES, it’s legal.

Law No. 33/2018, dated July 18, established the legal framework for the use of cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances for medicinal purposes, including their prescription and dispensation in pharmacies, with Decree-Law No. 8/2019, dated January 15, providing its regulation.

The purpose of this legal framework was to make treatment with cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances accessible, ensuring:

– that the preparations made available meet all necessary requirements concerning the demonstration of their quality and safety, thus contributing to safeguarding and protecting public health, and

– preventing the misuse of cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

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Therefore, the entire production chain, from plant cultivation to preparation and distribution, is known and controlled, ensuring that products are produced in accordance with all good practices and applicable requirements.

This guarantees that patients have access to products that have demonstrated their quality and safety, not exposing them to unnecessary and avoidable risks, preventing their misuse, and limiting their use to cases where conventional treatments have not produced the expected effects or have caused significant adverse effects.

The use of these products depends on the clinical assessment, carried out by the doctor, considering the approved therapeutic indications.

The dispensation of these products can only be carried out in pharmacies upon presentation of a medical prescription.


Law No. 33/2018, dated July 18 – Regulates the use of cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances for medicinal purposes.

Decree-Law No. 8/2019, dated January 15 – Regulates the use of cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances for medicinal purposes.

Decree-Law No. 15/93, dated January 22 – Legal framework for drug trafficking and consumption.

Regulatory Decree No. 61/94, dated October 12 – Regulates Decree-Law No. 15/93, dated January 22.

Ordinance No. 44-A/2019, dated January 31 – Regulates the pricing regime for cannabis-based preparations and substances for medicinal purposes.

Ordinance No. 83/2021, dated April 15 – Defines requirements and procedures for granting authorizations for activities related to the cultivation, manufacture, wholesale trade, transportation, circulation, import, and export of cannabis-based medicines, preparations, and substances.

Decriminalization vs. Legalization

Decriminalization means that possessing or using small amounts of weed for personal consumption won’t lead to criminal charges. However, it remains an administrative offense, like getting a parking ticket. On the other hand, legalization would mean that marijuana is entirely legal to possess, use, and even sell under specific regulations.

How Portugal’s Drug Policy Works

In Portugal, if you’re caught with a small amount of cannabis (up to 25 grams), you may face an administrative penalty such as a fine or community service. You could also be required to attend a meeting with the local Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction (CDT). They will evaluate your situation and may recommend treatment or other supportive measures.

Is Marijuana Legal in Portugal? Understanding the Nuances

Medical vs. Recreational Use

Is marijuana legal in Portugal for medicinal purposes? Yes, medical marijuana has been legal since 2018, with doctors prescribing cannabis-based products for specific conditions. However, recreational use of marijuana remains decriminalized but not legalized.

Cannabis É Legal Em Portugal for Medical Purposes

Medical marijuana is only available with a prescription from a qualified doctor. This can be obtained for specific conditions, such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, or as a last resort when other treatments have failed. Cannabis-based products for medical use are regulated and monitored by the Portuguese health authority, INFARMED.

Can You Buy Weed in Portugal? A Look at the Local Scene

The Reality of Purchasing Cannabis

Despite the decriminalization of marijuana possession, can you buy weed in Portugal legally? The answer is no, as the sale of marijuana remains illegal. However, it’s not uncommon to find people discreetly selling weed in some areas, especially in bigger cities like Lisbon.

Is Weed Legal in Lisbon? The Capital’s Cannabis Scene

Is weed legal in Lisbon? The same rules apply in Lisbon as the rest of Portugal. Possession of small amounts is decriminalized, but selling or cultivating marijuana remains illegal. In Lisbon, you might find individuals offering weed in popular tourist spots, but keep in mind that buying from them is still against the law.

The Future of Marijuana Legislation in Portugal

The Ongoing Debate on Legalization

Is marijuana legal in Portugal in 2022? The situation remains unchanged, with decriminalization but no full legalization. However, the ongoing debate about legalizing cannabis continues, with some politicians and activists arguing for a regulated market to reduce the black market, increase tax revenue, and improve public health.

Is Pot Legal in Portugal? Perspectives from the Public

The Portuguese population has diverse opinions on marijuana legalization. Some argue that fully legalizing cannabis would promote a more responsible approach to drug use, while others worry about potential negative consequences on public health and safety.

Is Weed Legal in Portugal? Reddit Discussions and More

Online Communities and the Cannabis Conversation

Online forums like Reddit have become a popular space for people to discuss and share their experiences with marijuana in Portugal. If you search *Is weed legal in Portugal Reddit,* you’ll find several threads discussing the current state of cannabis legality in Portugal. While these discussions can be informative, it’s essential to remember that information found online may not always be accurate or up-to-date.

Staying Informed on Cannabis Legality in Portugal

It’s crucial to stay informed about the latest updates and changes regarding cannabis legality in Portugal. This can be done by keeping an eye on news outlets and official government websites, attending public debates or meetings, and consulting with legal experts.

Traveling to Portugal and Marijuana Use

If you’re planning to travel to Portugal and wondering about the country’s marijuana laws, it’s important to understand that while possessing small amounts of marijuana is decriminalized, it’s still illegal to bring cannabis into the country. Visitors caught with weed may face penalties or even deportation.

Navigating Cannabis Use While Traveling

If you choose to use cannabis while traveling in Portugal, it’s essential to do so discreetly and responsibly. Avoid smoking in public places, especially near schools or other sensitive areas, and always carry a small amount to avoid any legal issues.

Portugal has become a popular tourist destination for many reasons, and the country’s marijuana laws are no exception. If you’re planning a trip to Portugal and wondering about the legality of cannabis, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the marijuana laws in Portugal, including buying and using weed, medical marijuana, and THC oil.

Understanding Portugal’s Cannabis Laws

First things first, let’s get the basics out of the way. Is cannabis legal in Portugal? The answer is yes, but with some restrictions. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized the possession and use of all drugs, including cannabis. This means that if you’re caught with a small amount of marijuana for personal use, you won’t face criminal charges. However, selling and growing cannabis is still illegal in Portugal.

Buying Weed in Portugal

Although cannabis possession has been decriminalized in Portugal, buying and selling weed is still illegal. You won’t find any licensed dispensaries or coffee shops like in Amsterdam. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get your hands on marijuana. There is an underground market for weed, and you may come across dealers in tourist areas. However, be aware that buying from an unlicensed dealer comes with risks, and you could end up with low-quality or even dangerous products.

Can You Smoke Weed in Portugal?

Even though the possession and use of marijuana have been decriminalized, smoking weed in public is still illegal in Portugal. It’s also illegal to smoke in designated non-smoking areas, such as restaurants, bars, and other public places. However, you can smoke in private spaces, such as your hotel room or a private residence.

Buying Marijuana in Portugal

As mentioned earlier, buying and selling marijuana is still illegal in Portugal. However, there is an exception for medical marijuana, which we’ll cover in the next section. If you’re caught buying or selling marijuana, you could face fines or even jail time. It’s important to be aware of the risks involved and consider the consequences before attempting to buy weed in Portugal.

Medical Marijuana in Portugal

Medical marijuana has been legal in Portugal since 2018, and patients with certain conditions can get a prescription for cannabis from a doctor. However, there are strict rules and regulations around medical marijuana in Portugal. Patients must have a valid medical reason for using cannabis, and they must obtain their medicine from licensed pharmacies.

THC Oil in Portugal

THC oil, also known as cannabis oil, is illegal in Portugal. Although cannabis possession has been decriminalized, THC oil is considered a cannabis extract and is therefore still illegal. This includes both recreational and medical THC oil.

Other Drug Laws in Portugal

Portugal has a unique approach to drug laws, and the decriminalization of all drugs is often cited as a model for other countries to follow. However, it’s important to note that decriminalization does not mean that all drugs are legal in Portugal. Possession and use of drugs are treated as a public health issue rather than a criminal one, and those caught with drugs for personal use are sent to a treatment center rather than to jail.

While cannabis possession has been decriminalized in Portugal, buying and selling weed is still illegal. Medical marijuana is legal, but only for patients with valid medical reasons and with strict regulations. Smoking weed in public and smoking in non-smoking areas is also illegal. It’s important to be aware of the laws and regulations around marijuana and other drugs in Portugal to avoid any legal trouble during your trip.

When it comes to cannabis laws, Portugal has a unique approach that differs from many other countries. As mentioned earlier, Portugal decriminalized the possession and use of all drugs, including cannabis, in 2001. This was a bold move that aimed to combat the negative effects of drug use, such as addiction and disease, while also reducing the burden on the criminal justice system.

The Portuguese government views drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. Instead of arresting and punishing drug users, they are sent to a treatment center where they can receive support and counseling to help overcome their addiction. This approach has been successful in reducing drug-related harm, such as HIV/AIDS, and has also led to a decrease in drug use overall.

Marijuana Tourism in Portugal

Although Portugal does not have the same level of marijuana tourism as places like Amsterdam, the country is still a popular destination for cannabis enthusiasts. There are several cannabis-friendly accommodations and activities, such as cannabis cooking classes and cannabis-infused massages. However, it’s important to note that buying and selling weed is still illegal in Portugal, and tourists should be cautious when trying to obtain marijuana.

Is Every Drug Legal in Portugal?

Contrary to popular belief, not every drug is legal in Portugal. Although possession and use of all drugs have been decriminalized, drug trafficking and distribution are still illegal and carry heavy penalties. The Portuguese government’s approach to drug use is focused on harm reduction rather than legalization.

In Summary

In summary, cannabis possession and use have been decriminalized in Portugal, but buying and selling weed is still illegal. Medical marijuana is legal for patients with valid medical reasons, but there are strict regulations in place. Smoking weed in public and smoking in non-smoking areas is also illegal. Portugal’s unique approach to drug laws views drug use as a public health issue and aims to reduce harm through treatment rather than punishment. While there are cannabis-friendly accommodations and activities in Portugal, tourists should be aware of the risks involved in trying to obtain marijuana.


Baptista-Leite, R., & Ploeg, L. (2018). The road towards the responsible and safe legalization of cannabis use in Portugal. Acta Médica Portuguesa, 31(2), 115-125.

Dinis, J., & Bernardes, C. (2004). Upper Jurassic outcrops along the Caldas da Rainha diapir, west Central Portugal: A regional geoheritage overview. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 110(1).

Vasconcelos, T., Tavares, M., & Gaspar, N. (1999). Aquatic plants in the rice fields of the Tagus Valley, Portugal. In Biology, Ecology and Management of Aquatic Plants: Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Aquatic Weeds, European Weed Research Society (pp. 59-65). Springer Netherlands.

Nicola Silva

Nicola Silva is a Cannabis researcher, recognized for her deep expertise and contributions to the field. With a profound understanding of the complex chemistry and therapeutic potential of Cannabis, she has played a pivotal role in promoting evidence-based applications. Nicola's exceptional skills in conducting rigorous research, analyzing data, and interpreting findings have groundbreaking discoveries in Cannabis cultivation, extraction techniques, and medical applications. Her passion for unraveling the mysteries of this versatile plant and her commitment to driving innovation in the industry make her a respected authority in the world of Cannabis.