Cannabis is illegal in Turkey, with strict penalties for possession, cultivation, or distribution.
Despite its popularity, especially among youth, the government has intensified efforts to combat drug use, including increased law enforcement and harsher penalties.
Legality of Cannabis in Turkey
Current Legal Status
In Turkey, cannabis is illegal for all purposes, including medical use and industrial hemp cultivation. Possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis can result in severe legal consequences, including imprisonment and fines.
The Turkish government considers cannabis as a narcotic drug, and its possession and use are punishable under the Law on the Prevention of the Hazards of Narcotic Drugs (Law No. 2313).
Medical Use and Prescription
Medical marijuana is not legal in Turkey, and there is no legal framework for its use. Sativex, a cannabis-based medication used for treating multiple sclerosis, is not approved for use in Turkey.
However, some patients have reported using CBD oil, which is legal in Turkey, to manage their symptoms.
Industrial Hemp Regulations
Industrial hemp cultivation is legal in Turkey, but it is strictly regulated by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock. Farmers must obtain a license from the ministry to cultivate industrial hemp and follow strict guidelines. The hemp must contain less than 0.2% THC, and farmers must provide detailed information about their crops to the ministry.
Consequences of Cannabis-Related Offenses
If you are caught possessing or trafficking cannabis in Turkey, you could face severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines.
The country has strict drug laws, and authorities do not take drug-related offenses lightly.
Penalties for Possession and Trafficking
If you are caught with cannabis in Turkey, you could face jail time ranging from one to five years, depending on the amount of cannabis you possess. Additionally, you may be fined up to 20,000 Turkish Lira (approximately $2,500 USD).
If you are caught trafficking cannabis, the penalties are even more severe. You could face imprisonment for between five and twenty years, along with a fine of up to 500,000 Turkish Lira (approximately $62,500 USD).
Impact on Population and Tourists
Drug trafficking and cannabis possession carry severe penalties in Turkey, with no exceptions for tourists. Offenders face the same consequences as Turkish citizens, posing a significant risk for unaware visitors.
Additionally, Turkey grapples with a high rate of drug addiction, prompting stringent measures from the government to address this public health concern. Considering the country's strict laws and the grave repercussions, using or possessing cannabis in Turkey is highly discouraged.