Is weed Legal in Ethiopia? – Everything You Need to KNOW

Ethiopia might not be the best place to travel to, but a country you cannot ignore is an African country. So if you are interested to know- it is weed legal in Ethiopia? or the cannabis laws, take some time to read this comprehensive summary of everything about Marijuana in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is an important country in the African continent. Where many African countries are heading toward legalizing Marijuana, Ethiopia is standing with its strong stance of making Marijuana illegal in any form.

Disappointed! yes! But, true!

You cannot sell, possess or grow Marijuana. But Why is Marijuana illegal in Ethiopia? Here is everything explained that I found.

You must take a look!

Why is Marijuana illegal in Ethiopia? History, Laws, and much more!

Why is Marijuana illegal in Ethiopia

Current status of cannabis in Ethiopia:

Medical Marijuana: illegal

Recreational Marijuana: Illegal

It is illegal to sell cannabis plants, cannabis seeds, grow marijuana plants, smoke, and each activity related to cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes. Possession of weed could take you to prison. In Ethiopia, cannabis is restricted to any personal use. Rules are strict enough on paper. However, Smoking weed rarely puts you in trouble!

The government’s reluctance is because they believe the weed culture would tend their nation towards more poverty.

History of Cannabis Plant in Ethiopia:

The use of cannabis or any other related activities is illegal in Ethiopia. Despite being the spiritual home of the Rastafari movement, there are strict provisions for the possession the cultivation of Marijuana. If you don’t know about Rastafari, then let me tell you-


Rastafari is an Africa-centered religion that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s after Haile Selassie- became king of Ethiopia. Rastafari’s were in the Shashamane city, in the Oromia Region of the country. Which later on became famous for the cultivation of cannabis plants.


What’s surprising is that Jamaica, the main country for Rastafarians, is one of the top weed consumer nations in the world. But, for Ethiopia, legal cannabis is quite far!


Marijuana or ganja is considered a herb of religious significance for Rastafarians, who sometimes refer to it as the holy herb of wisdom weed.

Marijuana Laws in Ethiopia:

Marijuana Laws in Ethiopia

As mentioned earlier, cannabis-related activities are banned in Ethiopia. There are certain laws you must know about-

Laws for possession of Marijuana or buying cannabis seeds:

Possession of cannabis would take you to prison for at least 6 months. The accused will be taken to court within 48 hours of arrest. In Ethiopia, cannabis is illegal. However, a plant ‘khat’ is legal to use. The plant has mild psychoactive properties and is widely used in the country. But, Marijuana is banned completely.

The other part of the story is that police hardly take the accused of possession to jail. Thus, you can say that law enforcement is weaker in real than on paper.

The local consumption of weed is continually increasing as the year passing. As a result, young people are attracted to cannabis use, like in other countries.

Laws on selling weed:

Likewise, selling Marijuana is an extremely criminal offense. The Ethiopian government passed very strict laws on selling Marijuana. A fine of 100,000 Ethiopian birrs would be imposed on the accused.

Interestingly, Ethiopia stands directly on the main route to transport cannabis to other countries from Southern Africa to Asia. Thus, it is really difficult to stop transporting or selling weed. Instead, the authorities keep on regular checks across the border areas. The Drug Administration and Control Authority are, for the most part, answerable for all marijuana arrangements in Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Federal Police Counter-Narcotic Division implements the strategies.


Ethiopian cannabis law doesn’t allow anyone to indulge in cannabis selling. Still, people know how much money they can earn by selling drugs. And hence, youth buy and sell cannabis seeds and products on the black market. Therefore, the law made by various governments in the country has not been proved so effective.

Is it possible to grow Marijuana plants?

Is it possible to grow Marijuana plants

Though smoking marijuana is often ignored, growers are not exposed to similar mercy. For example, in 2019, Ethiopian police obliterated 17 sections of land of marijuana fields all over the country, including Shashamane and Alemaya- the main cultivation land for Marijuana.

According to the law, growing Marijuana is a punishable offense for which jail time is about 10 years with a very heavy fine.

This penalty applies even if you are growing a single cannabis plant at home!

What about CBD and marijuana Edibles?

What about CBD and marijuana Edibles

Unfortunately, the Ethiopian government doesn’t take CBD differently from Marijuana. Thus, CBD is equally illegal in Ethiopia.

No one can buy, sell or use CBD for medicinal purposes, recreational purposes, or personal use.

So, it is not a great idea to do this!

Is Medical Marijuana illegal in Ethiopia?

Yes, there is no such medical cannabis program to date. However, anything that carries some psychoactive substance is illegal. Cannabis use in medicine is not what you can expect from Ethiopia.

Even there is no sign that medicinal pot will be on the market.

Industrial Hemp in Ethiopia:

The only thing that is legal in Ethiopia is Hemp. This is because hemp doesn’t produce high. Industrial hemp has been used to make garments, ropes, food, and fiber.

The hemp industry is flourishing and fetching millions of dollars for the nation. It is producing employment for the locals. The hemp crop is new hope for the farmers, and they emphasize making organic hemp.

In 2014, the Global Hemp group declared plans to foster huge scope of hemp creation and handling offices in Ethiopia. This was notwithstanding Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. They likewise intended to combine efforts with nearby colleges that needed to explore the pharmacological and horticultural potential of cannabis plants.

Cannabis Culture in Ethiopia:

Whereas the Ethiopian government has been ensuring to leave no stone unturned to ban cannabis use, the youth seem to disagree with the legislation and demands for making Marijuana legal.

A significant part of the Marijuana especially weed in Ethiopia, is imported from other African nations like North Africa. The landraces developed locally, Durban Poison and Malawi Gold, are notable for their elevating, empowering impacts, fundamentally because most are unadulterated sativas.

People grow plants usually in highland regions of the country, thus making it difficult for the police to catch them. They are making money with these plants as well.

An article throws the limelight on the growing consumption of Marijuana in Ethiopia. This says that people want to get legal status for cannabis in Ethiopia. However, the government has been reluctant as it believes that weed culture is responsible for poverty, poor health, unskilled youth, and many more problems in the country.

Will Ethiopia legalize Marijuana in the future?

Well, it is a tricky question to answer. If we look up the fresh news about Ethiopia, the authorities have not given any sign of legalizing it. Not even for the medical proposes. Marijuana usage has been restricted to research and study purposes.

But, you never know if Marijuana will get legal in Ethiopia and if the country will join the legal nation lists soon.

But for now, cannabis legalization doesn’t seem to come in the way very soon. Marijuana quality is good in Ethiopia, and you will find a few nice landrace strains. Be mindful of dosage and don’t overdose, as researchers have found that overdose.

Regardless of the laws, Ethiopian police are not that diligent in enforcing marijuana laws, according to MarijuanaTravels.

Cannabis is very abundant in Ethiopia, but the country lacks cigarette papers and blunts, according to

FAQs:

Can we send cannabis via mail? 

Cannabis laws in Ethiopia forbid buying, selling, and transporting weed. So you cannot send Marijuana via mail.

Where can we find Marijuana in Ethiopia? 

Anywhere where you can find Rastafari people. Addis Abeba, Shashamane, and Alemaya are some big cities where you can get good quality weed.

What are the best strains to get in Ethiopia?

Durban Poison, Malawi Gold, Haze Berry, Pineapple Kush, Blue Cheese, and Chocolate are some of the best cannabis strains.

Can I find edibles in the country? 

Again weed edibles are not legal to buy and sell. Unfortunately, you will not find them easily. However, any local stoner can help you out.

Cannabis fetches a lot of money. Still, Ethiopia is not legalizing! Why?

The government promotes the negative impacts of Marijuana. Recently a study came in front of the Ethiopian government. According to this, the Cannabis industry alone can fetch 10% of the country’s total GDP alone. In recent years, the cannabis industry brought 9.8billion USD to the country.

The Bottom Line:

In a nutshell, we have seen that despite the revenue generated from the hemp and cannabis industry, the government is standing with its stance on Marijuana.

Until now, medicinal Marijuana is not acceptable. Therefore, it is not going to legalize it completely. However, the revenue has opened a hope that Ethiopia may legalize at least medical Marijuana shortly.

So let’s stay hopeful but stay aware as an overdose of weed may bring you many problems. Keep smoking within your limits and enjoy!

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