Chinese citizens in Canada could be penalized for using marijuana

On October 17th Canada celebrated the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, marking it as the 2nd country in the world (after Uruguay) doing such a thing. However, we see now that this approval could not reach all people living in Canada. Some countries decide to stay away of it and encouraging their citizens (who live in Canada) so stay away from it. Is it fair? and even more important, is it legal? A release published on Oct 26th on the official website of the General-Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto reminded their citizens how consuming marijuana could affect them, even if they’re not in China. In the release, the General Consulate encourage their citizens to “In order to protect their physical and mental health, please continue to avoid contact or use of marijuana. Also, according to them the phrase “legalization of marijuana”, is not adequate, they prefer to name it: “cannabis regulation”. As a non-friendly reminder, the General Consulate advise their citizens that “Article 357 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China also clearly stipulates that cannabis is a drug. It is illegal to illegally grow, hold and use cannabis in China. Canadian federal law also stipulates that it is illegal to take marijuana on an international flight. Chinese citizens on international flights must strictly abide by the above regulations and must not hide or carry marijuana in their luggage.” The affirmation on this release caught our attention because it considers marijuana as a drug, event when on December 2017 the World Health Organization recommended that cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) not be internationally scheduled as a controlled substance. This release by Chinese Consulate is quite important, according to official data (updated in 2016), there are 1.769.195 citizens with chinese origin in Canada, it means 5.1% of the Canadian population.   Of course, the approval recreational use of marijuana in Canada doesn’t mean that all citizens have to try it, however, is interesting how some countries encourage or even pursue their citizens to avoid cannabis use.

Similar actions by asian countries

China was not the only country encouraging their citizens living in Canada to stay away from marijuana; The Japanese Consulate in Vancouver also issued a warning that those found violating the country’s laws can be prosecuted at home. In Oct. 4 message, the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver posted a message that said that while Canada was set to legalize the possession and use of marijuana on Oct. 17, acts such as possessing or purchasing the drug are illegal in Japan and are subject to legal penalties. It said the Cannabis Control Law may be applicable for actions taken overseas. However, any individual bringing marijuana from overseas to Japan can be subject to the domestic law, and Canada also warns against such action. Also, South Korea added that any activity with marijuana that may be legal in Canada will be considered illegal and individuals will face punishment at home. Through their official account in Twitter, they explained: “Even in a place where marijuana is legalized, if our citizens smoke, purchase, possess or deliver marijuana, it’s a criminal act, so they will be punished,” and added: “Please be careful.” On the other hand, neither the statement from Japan nor South Korea explained how they might attempt to enforce their laws against smoking marijuana while abroad.


  • In Canada is legal to carry up to 30 gr of marijuana
  • You must be at least 19 years old (or 18, depending on the province).
  • Even if you’re heading to your country, if you’re in Vancouver airport, there are areas where you can smoke marijuana.
  • Taking cannabis or any product containing cannabis into Canada is illegal.
  • Crossing international borders with cannabis is illegal.
  Following those simple rules, you won’t have any problem if you decide to get some cannabis for yourself. New in the cannabis world? Check out our post!

One thought on “Chinese citizens in Canada could be penalized for using marijuana

  1. Avatar for Weed Smart
    coreygardner40 says:

    Good luck enforcing that. how is china gonna know who is smoking? If I was from China living in Canada, I wouldn’t go back there anyway……

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