Dutch cannabis usage below EU average

By chillinwill · Nov 5, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Just 5.4% of the Dutch use marijuana or cannabis at least once a year, compared with 7% of Europeans as a whole, according to new EU research.

    Italians are the biggest users of marijuana - 14.6% of Italians aged 15 to 64 took the drug in the year before the survey was carried out, the report by the EU's drug monitoring agency showed.

    The Netherlands also has one of the lowest drug-related death rates in the EU - just eight per million, compared with almost 50 per million in the UK, the survey showed.

    A spokesman for the drug addiction institute Trimbos told the Volkskrant the results of the survey show the Dutch policy of turning a blind eye to small scale soft drug usage had paid off.

    Cocaine is the second most popular drug in Europe, apart from in the Netherlands where ecstasy is in second place.

    However, the agency says the Netherlands is still one of the biggest producers of both ecstasy and amphetamines in Europe.

    November 5, 2009
    Dutch News

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  1. Sippin40oz
    Just goes to show legalisation does work in reducing drugs use and their inherant dangers! When will the rest of the world wake up to the FACTS!
  2. Phenoxide
    I get what you're saying but cannabis isn't legal in the Netherlands either. Decriminalization has for the most part been very successful, but this comes as no surprise given that the dutch have always had a much more level-headed approach to drug policy. They've also done very well at managing the risks associated with drug tourism (i.e. creating a nucleus that is attractive for shadier elements of the drug market).

    Are these figures evidence that the dutch system is applicable elsewhere though? I'm not convinced. I think that even without decriminalization the levels of drug use and drug-related deaths in the Netherlands would still be lower than in most of Europe. The mentality and culture of a country plays a major factor in my opinion. I may be cynical, but I don't think it's within the psyche of the UK populous to have a healthy relationship with drugs, regardless of their legal status. One only needs to look at the increasingly irresponsible use of beta-ketones in the UK club scene to see that something being technically legal doesn't mean that it is treated with appropriate care and understanding.
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