Legal status of marijuana in turkey

Legal status of marijuana in turkey
Steven Voser

Turkey has legalized limited medical cannabis production and use. So how about recreational cannabis?

With one foot in Europe and another in Asia, Turkey is still far away from following its Western neighbors into a more liberal stand on cannabis.

The good news for now is that in an attempt to stop international narco-trafficking, Turkey has begun the process of cannabis legalization. That is a major step forward. Even if for now this reform is limited to cannabis solely of the medical variety.


Medical use is now legal here. However the details have not been fully worked out since announcement of this new policy in October 2016. Good news is that Sativex is available for patients with a prescription from a licensed physician.

The plan is to take things a step further and this is great news! Government regulations now allow 19 provinces to grow strictly controlled and monitored crops. Licensed producers must prove they are free of previous convictions and willing to follow regulations.

The provinces where legal grows are now being established include Amasya, Antalya, Bartin, Burdur, Ҫorum, ĺzmir, Karabück, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kütahya, Malatya, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Tokat, Uşak, Yozgat and Zonguldak.


Consuming cannabis recreationally is still highly illegal. Possession, purchase or receipt of any drug, including cannabis is a one-way ticket to up to two years in a Turkish prison. “Midnight Express” is a great movie, but trust us, this was the sanitized version. Just don’t go there. Sale and supply as well as unlicensed production or trafficking will get you a minimum of five and up to ten years in jail.

You are going to face sanctions. At minimum, if you are lucky and carrying just a small amount, you may be referred for treatment and or probation for up to three years. Noncompliance with either will result in sentencing.

No. The medical program will be rolled out slowly and under heavy government supervision. That is all she wrote for now and the immediate future. The country is still in the grips of an international (drug) war. Isis and Afghan drug and terror cartels use Turkey as a key conduit into Europe.

Further, profits from illicit drugs grown here are directly linked to terrorism across Europe. This is a drug and terror hotspot, in other words. Authorities act accordingly.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.