Highest cannabis users are Australians

By chillinwill · Oct 20, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    A new Lancet paper co-authored by a UQ researcher states that Australians are the highest cannabis users in the world, only matched by USA and New Zealand.

    The paper was published at the weekend by Professor Wayne Hall of UQ's School of Population Health and Professor Louisa Degenhardt of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW.

    The researchers identify that 1 in 25 people in the 15-64 age group are using cannabis, despite adverse health effects including chronic use and dependence. The paper reviews the health issues surrounding cannabis use from a public health perspective.

    The most adverse effects [of cannabis] include a dependence syndrome, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and adverse effects of regular use on adolescent psychosocial development and mental health, the paper outlines.

    Regular cannabis use, especially daily, is linked to chronic health effects including bronchitis, impaired cognitive functioning, a doubled risk of schizophrenia compared to non-users, and cannabis dependence which affects one in ten users.

    Professor Hall believes that the young uptake of cannabis is a likely cause for lifetime adverse health issues.

    "Generally, the more people who use any drug, the earlier they start using and the more often they use, the more likely they are to experience these harms," he said.

    "Evidence has strengthened for young people at risk of adverse cannabis effects. When they initiate early and become regular users in their mid-teens, they are at higher risk of psychoses and poorer psychosocial outcomes in adolescence.

    "The existence of a cannabis dependence syndrome is confirmed, which means policy makers should focus on providing advice for young adults and teenagers before they commence using cannabis."

    Despite the number of adverse effects, the paper states that the public health burden of cannabis is "modest", causing 0.2 percent of disease burden in Australia who have one of the highest reported rates of cannabis use.
    This was 10 percent of the burden attributable to all illicit drugs.

    Professor Hall urges further research on the longer term health risks of cannabis, given that cannabis use is common in developed countries.

    "Information on patterns of its use should be routinely collected in epidemiological research and clinical studies so that its health effects can be better understood," he said.

    Read the full publication here.

    Professor Wayne Hall
    October 20, 2009
    The University of Queensland Australia

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  1. Sven99
    1 in 25? Don't make me laugh. Couldn't access the original paper to see how they got that figure as its behind a pay-wall, but unless they asked 'are you high right now?' I can't see how they'd have gotten a figure that low
  2. bLuE
    i seriously doubt this info, people arent honest about how much they smoke or if they smoke.
  3. chinpokomaster
    How comes they get higher than everyone else who smokes it? Or is it an average?
  4. Sven99
    Its not at all clear what they mean. Are they saying australian pot-smokers get more stoned? That they smoke more cannabis than smokers in other countries? that there are more of them? Very unclear.
  5. podge
    Maybe it means the Tallest - but then where would that leave the Dutch? :laugh:
  6. Frenzal
    Ahhhahaha, at all the above posts.

    Re the rep comment though I've always thought pretty highly of the lancet, they print alot of pro stuff too, more importantly than that, maybe because they're a journal, they maintain a much higher standard than most normal services when it comes to drugs and many other topics.

    That said, I do realise Fox news et al. ain't exactly a high benchmark.
  7. Master of plants
    Disagree, the Czechs rules.
  8. Vonn
    Haha that would be about right, coupled with the fact that we have some of the harshest laws regarding drugs, and the worst drug-education I have seen. *shakes head* Am seriously considering moving back to NZ.
  9. Master of plants
    So the highest cannabis are Czechs only in Europe, pardonnez moi.
  10. adzket
    swim was told by there aussey friends that they where aloud to grow plants for there own use in some states which could have somthing to do with it. but would of though dutch would be top of list. or other growing countrys like morroco
  11. ianzombie
    I believe the Dutch have the lowest rate of Cannabis use in Europe.
    In South Australia they could grow up to 3 plants, at least thats how it was when Swim lived there in 2000.

    Swim used to go to Amsterdam at least once a year but some of the finest Weed Swim ever smoked was in Australia.
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