Marijuana Use Most Rampant in Australia, says Study

While Amsterdam has a reputation for being the weed capital of the world, it turns out that residents of the land Down Under consume more marijuana than any other people in the world, according to a new study.

A study published Friday in a British medical journal may have finally uncovered the secret behind Australia’s laid-back lifestyle, and it turns out to be more than just sun and surf: The denizens Down Under, it turns out, consume more marijuana than any other people on the planet…

The study’s co-authors…reported that as much as 15 percent of the populations of Australia and New Zealand between the ages of 15 and 64 had used some form of marijuana in 2009…

The Americas, by comparison, clocked in at 7 percent, although North America batted above the neighborhood average with nearly 11 percent of its population partaking. Asia demonstrated the lowest global marijuana use patterns at no more than 2.5 percent, the study said, although difficulties in obtaining accurate data in less developed countries were cited as one possible reason for the low figures.

Stepping back for a global perspective, the study found that marijuana was the world’s most widely consumed illicit drug, with anywhere from 125 million to 203 million people partaking annually…

Still, despite marijuana’s significantly outpacing other illicit drugs in terms of the volume of use, the study found that it was the least likely of all illicit drugs to cause death. Additionally, barely 1 percent of deaths in Australia annually can be attributed to illegal drugs, the report said, compared with almost 12 percent from tobacco use.

The Dutch are among the lowest users of marijuana or cannabis in Europe despite the Netherlands’ well-known tolerance of the drug. Among adults in the Netherlands, 5.4% used cannabis, compared with the European average of 6.8%, according to an annual report by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

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