Despite being a progressive, open-minded Nordic nation, Iceland is still in the Dark Ages when it comes to the marijuana plant. You cannot possess, grow, sell, or consume marijuana in Iceland. All activity related to marijuana is illegal, heavily penalized, and strictly enforced.
If caught trying to sell, grow, or use marijuana, you can face jail time. First-time offenders will usually receive a very large fine instead of time spent in jail. Overall, it depends on how much marijuana is in the illegal dealing.
If you are a first-time offender, possessing no more than one gram of marijuana can yield a fine of about 35,000 krona. This is roughly equivalent to $500. If you have any amount of cannabis over one pound, you can expect to serve at least three months in an Icelandic jail.
Can I Bring Marijuana to Iceland?
The answer to this is strictly no. Foreigners and tourists cannot bring any amount of marijuana into Iceland. Those caught trying to smuggle the drug into the country can still receive jail time. This jail time can increase in length depending on the amount of cannabis in question.
As more and more tourists make Iceland their top travel destination, security tightens. Suitcases are thoroughly inspected through the use of physical examination and security screening technology. If found with any amount of marijuana, customs and the police will confiscate it and be informed immediately.
Sometimes, the government can ban an individual from entering the country which also pertains to the entire Schengen zone. Thus, it is best to not bring marijuana to Iceland. The restrictions are quite strict and the punishments severe.
What About Medical Marijuana in Iceland?
Even marijuana in medical form is still controlled in Iceland. The only type of medical marijuana allowed in the country is a spray called ‘Sativex.’ This is a spray that is commonly prescribed to people who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy. Only certain licensed neurosurgeons can provide this prescription.
Therefore, if you have some sort of medicine that is marijuana-based and wish to bring it to Iceland, use caution. You should verify that the customs in Iceland permit such a product into the territory beforehand.
How Well Does Iceland Enforce Marijuana Laws?
Unlike a lot of countries, the Icelandic police have a lot of limits on what they can do in terms of stopping and searching for marijuana. They don’t have the power or ability to search just anyone that they would like to.
In order to search someone for marijuana in Iceland, the police need to have a valid excuse on the basis of suspicion. In addition, drug-related offenses and activity will remain permanently on an Icelander’s criminal record. Because such a criminal violation never goes away from one’s criminal record, the police are then able to better see the activity of illegal drug culture and consumption within Iceland.
Overall, given the punishment and severity of possessing marijuana in Iceland, it’s not worth it to bring marijuana to the country. It can result in jail time, with permanent offenses added to your criminal record. A tourist-oriented experience can quickly turn into so much more than a one-week stay in a hotel. It could become a three month’s (or longer) stay in a jail cell.
What About CBD and Other Low THC Hemp Products: Does Iceland Allow Them?
You would think that, with CBD being so beneficial and having very minor trace amounts of THC, it would be legal. Unfortunately, that is not the case. CBD oil is not legal in Iceland because of the THC potential, which is not verifiable when you are bringing it into the country. There has been a lot of debate and protests arguing that CBD should be legal. Given that it can help many people suffering from all kinds of conditions, its restriction upsets many Icelanders.
If you are going to be visiting Iceland, it is best that you leave your CBD products behind at home. The Icelandic customs agents and the police treat them the same as marijuana. This puts you in a position of potential arrest or fines.
Is Iceland Writing Any Legislation in Favor of Legalizing Weed?
Cannabis in Iceland is illegal and was first outlawed on October 14, 1969. The government included cannabis in an anti-drug law because its consumption rapidly rose amongst Icelandic youth. The ban came into effect in 1974 and has remained there ever since.
There are a lot of protesters and people trying to change the laws in Iceland. They want cannabis to be legal in Iceland because of its potential ability to help people medicinally. The CBD within hemp is especially of interest. Despite a lot of the activism regarding hemp and even medicinal marijuana, Icelandic government officials and politicians still won’t budge.
Final Thoughts on Weed in Iceland
Given the potential harsh punishments and heavy fines from trying to use weed in Iceland, it is recommended that you simply leave your cannabis at home if going on a tourist excursion to the volcanic island. It is not as well accepted amongst officials and customs agents alike in the country. Other medicines are viewed as a first standard before trying a plant like marijuana.
There has been a lot of activism with people who would like the laws to change. Still, Parliament has not done much to bring about any turnaround.
There is a lot of illegal growing tracked by permanent records on offenders. This helps the government monitor how much activity involving illegal marijuana is going on in the country. Even for medicinal use, it is not heavily supported, nor is the use of very low or zero-THC CBD products and oils.
Leave your weed and CBD products at home when going to Iceland. It’s not worth it considering the heavy fines and jail time that you could receive from bringing such a product to the country. Not to mention, the entire Schengen region could ban you for multiple years. This is in no way a good thing for those who love to travel.