History of CBD and Cannabis In: Qatar
You’d have to be living under a rock to not notice it: Cannabis legalization has gained an incredible deal of steam over the past few years. Indeed, hardly a month goes by now without some sort of cannabis law being liberalized in one part of the world or another. While only a few countries have fully legalized marijuana, many have begun to expand access to the drug for medicinal purposes. Furthermore, CBD, a cousin of marijuana, has become increasingly available, even for commercial purchase.
However, while many countries have shifted their cannabis policies in a more progressive direction, many have remained steadfast in their firm opposition to marijuana. Such is the case in most countries in the Middle East, including Qatar. All forms of cannabis use remains illegal in Qatar, and sentencing for violations is particularly harsh.
History & Culture of Cannabis in Qatar
As a country, Qatar has always been known as one that is extremely harsh on crime and culturally and religiously conservative. Officially, the state follows a conservative branch of Islam. As a result, Qatar has always been a place which has had a harsh tolerance towards any sort of legal or moral gray areas, and this can be seen in their laws pertaining to marijuana.
Current Legal Status of Cannabis in Qatar
All forms of cannabis use are illegal in Qatar, including recreational and medicinal. At the moment, no major efforts exist to reform the country’s cannabis laws or loosen them in anyway. The penalties for violation of marijuana possession laws include fines and possible imprisonment. While reports indicate that purchasing marijuana in Qatar is possible, the country has specifically announced that tourists should not do so, as Qatar authorities take the violation of these laws very seriously.
CBD Use is Also Illegal in The Country.
According to published reports, cannabis is not particularly popular in Qatar, with a mere .1 – .4% of the population reportedly using the drug. If accurate, this would be one of the lowest rates in the world. However, reports indicate those numbers are increasing.
The media is replete with numerous reports of individuals trying to enter Qatar with marijuana but having their drugs confiscated by customs and then being arrested. For example, a Sri Lankian man was sentenced to three years in jail and fined QR 200,000 for dealing drugs, with deportation back to Sri Lanka possible upon the completion of his sentence. A further look at related news reports indicates that stories like this are relatively common.