Map of world weed use

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Where in the world do people smoke the most dope? According to the United Nations' World Drug Report 2012 released today, it's the Pacific island of Palau. As reported in The Economist, "Nearly a quarter of people aged 15 to 64 (in Palau) smoked pot in the past year. Italians and Americans also like to get high, with rates of 14.6% and 14.1% respectively."


    1. lol do you not know anything? its illegal but states can say if they allow it for use medically..  plus marijuana is as easy to get here as a pack of cigarettes. being illegal doesnt make it disappear lol… i would say the middle east smokes the most marijuana. or india. but there is no data for india and hardly any for the middle east

    1. A) there’s a reply button
      B) you’re indulging in extremism. I didn’t say “NEVAR NONE.”

    1. With India, I think their measuring device broke down screaming “DOES NOT COMPUTE”!

      1. FYW, @google-a0aa79d48631ef41951ba1ef5f38be63:disqus .
        One thought about Italy and Spain – not so much weed I would think, but plenty of hash instead.

        1. Yeah I’m wondering if they included hashish in these counts. Pot of any reasonable quality is apparently  pretty hard to come by in most of Ireland. I’ve been told hash is easy to find and much more popular there. 

          1. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly hash in Spain, a popular method is to mix it up with tobacco, of all things, so I guess holding it in as long as possible is not a priority there.

            As for both Italy and Spain, the majority of the loco-paste comes from Morocco.  Proximity counts.

          2. Cannabis only joints are kind of an American thing. A ‘European’ joint is a mix of cannabis and tobacco (or smoking mix, i.e. non-tobacco tobacco) – not that it’s a strict rule or anything.

            It’s funny, I’ve known about Spain being such big smokers since a tour I had in Amsterdam (most people expected Netherlands to be the biggest due to the laws, but no where near true), but never even considered that it might be because they’re a stones-throw from Morocco!

  1. What is going on so that only 2% of Mexicans are smoking weed? Isn’t Mexico the country that gave weed to North America? Wasn’t marijuana made illegal in the USA thanks to vitriolic racism against Mexicans? Now they don’t even like it that much! dafuk.

    1. Cannabis is an Old World species, and Jefferson and Washington seem to have both grown it.

      1. Right, but they were probably growing it for hemp, as would be anyone else in their social circle. And purebred Cannabis Sativa isn’t great for smoking. Whereas the plants good for smoking, the Indica strain, and the idea to smoke them would have probably come with the Indian labor brought to the Caribbean and Central America. At least we haven’t outstripped Jamaica yet.

        1. Dude.. what have you been smoking? Indica gives a couch-lock high while sativa is an energetic, buzzing high. Purebred strains of each can be VERY enjoyable to smoke. The one you’re thinking of is Cannabis Ruderalis

          1. I think what he was referring to was colonial period, selective bred for making rope sativa. If you spend even a few years breeding a plant for fiber quality and content its no likely to resemble varietals bred for recreational use. Agricultural plants vary hugely based on how they’ve been cross bred/selected. Just look at the variety of tomatoes available from heirloom seed catalogs.

          2.  @boingboing-0dd4332bc8f0e9692eaa585b1b20c712:disqus : makes sense… I suppose the word I would change is “purebred” to “purpose bred”. Sativa makes sense for rope making as it’s much taller than the other types.

          3. anyway… I’m sure someone’s right. At first I had just written “indica” twice, so I don’t really trust my ability to keep anything straight. And seeing as I got the Illuminatus! trilogy quoted at me below, I’ll cede that those garden-crazy masons were possibly getting wicked stoned.
            But I’m still pretty sure that the common folk of Mexico were familiar with smoking weed way before the common folk of the US. If it had retained its status as an aristocratic drug, maybe it would at least make schedule II like opium or cocaine. Instead policy makers made up classist/racist policy that still exists while a bunch of the peoples it was meant to attack have moved on from the marijuana consumption.
            It’s a just really weird sort of anachronism, ya know? That’s all I meant.

        2. Washington grew Indian hemp – quite likely of a high-THC strain as most Indian hemp is – and was quite enthusiastic about it, breeding a large stock of seed which he passed on to others.

          From Appendix Aleph of the Illuminatus! trilogy:

          Many readers will assume that this book consists of nothing but fiction and fantasy; actually, like most historical tomes, it includes those elements (as do the works of Gibbon, Toynbee, Wells, Beard, Spengler, Marx, Yerby, Kathleen Windsor, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Moses, et. al.); but it also contains as many documented facts as do not seriously conflict with the authors’ prejudices. Washington’s hemp crop, for instance, is mentioned repeatedly in Writings of Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931. Here are some of the citations: ….

          Volume 33, page-279, finds him writing from Philadelphia to his gardener at Mount Vernon to “make the most you can of the India Hemp seed” and “plant it everywhere.” Waxing more enthusiastic, on page 384 he writes to an unidentified “my dear doctor,” telling him, “I thank you as well for the seeds as for the Pamphlets which you had the goodness to send me. The artificial preparation of the Hemp from Silesia is really a curiosity …” And on page 469 he again reminds the gardener about the seed of the India Hemp: “[I] desire that the Seed may be saved in due season and with as little loss as possible.”

          The next year he was even more preoccupied that the seeds be saved and the crop replenished. Volume 34, page 146, finds him writing (March 15, 1795) to the gardener again: “Presuming you saved all the seed you could from the India hemp, let it be carefully sown again, for the purpose of getting into a full stock of seed.”

          Volume 34, page 72, undated letter of Spring 1796, shows that the years did not decrease this passion; he again writes to the gardener: “What was done with the seed saved from the India Hemp last summer? It ought, all of it, to have been sewn [sic] again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated the seed to others; as it is more valuable than the common Hemp.”

      1. What Patrick said about weed being made illegal as a means of deporting “them darn” Mexicans is accurate.

        One of the reasons weed remains illegal is because of what you say, but I strongly contest the assertion. This article from February states: “Denver collected more than $3.4 million last year from sales tax and application and license fees, according to preliminary figures. The State of Colorado collected $5 million in sales tax from medical marijuana businesses last year, more than twice what it collected the year before.”

        That’s a fair bit of kickback right there.

      2. ‘Tis said that WR Hearst, who owned considerable lumber acreage, was  concerned that trends in hemp-based paper were going to mess with his profit margins, and that is why he began publishing articles on how Mexican laborers liked to smoke up and go rape some white women.

        That is not to say that I doubt that Big Tobacco will do whatever they can to mess with potential competitors, however.

      3.  I thought marijuana was illegal not because of the “drug problem”, but beacuase the timber industry, and their powerful lobby, which doesn’t want the competition from hemp, which yields way more paper per acre than trees do, and grows back very fast. If Marijuana was legalized, hemp would be used industrially again in the states and damage the timber industry

        During the colonial era, if you were a a farmer, It was illegal to NOT grow hemp.

      4.  Well, it’s not just tobacco, or timber as people are saying above. It’s also  fuel and alcohol and pharmaceuticals and textiles and food. A lot of rich people have a lot to lose from an easy to grow plant having as much capability as hemp in its many forms.

        Imagine if farmers in this country were making fuel that was cleaner, more sustainable, and more efficient than oil; medicine that was healthy and effective; textiles and paper that were way more sustainable than our current logging paradigm; and recreational chemicals that didn’t give you cancer and wouldn’t kill you from over-consumption. What would those poor, other, more destructive industries do?

        Legalization- it’s more than getting stoned.

    2. What is going on so that only 2% of Mexicans are smoking weed?

      I live in Mexico, and I call bullshit on that figure, at the very least it should be around 5%.  The high social stigma for smokin’ the reefer in socially conservative Mexico could account for an unusually large statistical deviation.

      1.  Yeah, to be fair: I’ve never been to a rock concert in Mexico where I hadn’t noticed the telling smell of someone “burning the feet of the devil” (typical slang for pot smoking).

  2. I’m surprised to see relatively low numbers in Mexico. The standard history I learned is that American cowboys picked up pot-smoking from vaqueros, and the cowboys introduced it to Hollywood actors in the silent era, who introduced it to jazz musicians, who wrote songs like “Texas Tea Party,” “If You’s a Viper,” and “All the Jive Is Gone.”

    Of course, oral consumption of hashish pellets was common among 19th c. American upper classes long before the working classes started smoking dried marijuana  leaves and buds. (Somewhere in my vast, uncatalogued archives, I have a short story by Luisa May “Little Women” Alcott about a hash party gone horribly wrong.)

    Maybe Mexican pot is like Brazilian coffee — too valuable as an export for local consumption.

      1. Her less well known works are quite off-brand.  I seem to remember a gruesome short story about a child dying of tetanus.

        1. Ooh! Can you find a link? Gutenberg, maybe?

          I find that “The Little Match Girl” no longer satisfies my need for horrifying fictional child deaths.

          Cf. the 1860s temperance hymn:

          We were so happy till Father drank rum,
          Then all our sorrow and trouble begun;
          Mother grew paler, and wept ev’ry day,
          Baby and I were too hungry to play.

          Slowly they faded, and one Summer’s night
          Found their dear faces all silent and white;
          Then with big tears slowly dropping, I said:
          Father’s a Drunkard, and Mother is dead!

          They don’t write ’em like that anymore.

          NB my avatar/’nym.

  3. Screw this.. I’m going in Palau.

    BTW I’m not happy about Australia getting bumped from the second position. I WANNA BE A TRASHBAG!

    According to this Australia’s 15-64 use of weed is 15% (though I cant actually locate that figure in the Lancet article linked). My guess for the bump is that for this study Australia’s figure is for the 14+ age bracket and, let’s face it, there aren’t a great number of elderly grannies sparking up.

    Edit: Here’s a link for the stats from UNSW

    1. when I realized the grey meant “no data,” I was a little less dumbfounded, but they still beat SA, a former Dutch colony, so…

    1.  And how about a Per-Capita rating instead of pure numbers? Australia is a Huge country with 23 million people, less than California!

  4. Note the low use in Portugal, where a decriminalisation of drugs has not led to an epidemic  surge of use, contrary to what prohibitionists are always quick to claim.

    1. Netherland (where it’s semi-legal, although accessibility has lately been reduced) usage is still significantly lower than in War On Drugs countries like the US and France.

  5. Now we need to cross-reference this with a map showing cannabis legality, and I can start planning my holidays.

    Seriously though, I downloaded the complete set of maps, and the US is in the top category for all but one of them (a subset of the opiates). How’s that war on drugs working out?

  6. What I am curious about is how they collected their data for this graph. I couldn’t find anything on it in their full report, which is oriented more towards production than consumption. Did anybody else have more luck? I feel that the numbers are basically useless, as long as I don’t know how they came about…

    EDIT: Ah okay, it seems that they were mostly doing household surveys. So… the numbers represented are a result of self-reporting, right? So what it gives us is mostly information about where people are most likely to admit their cannabis use

    1. So this is a map of people who said yes to, “Hey, dude, do you like to party?”

  7. Drug-related deaths per million of population:

    US: 181.8
    Netherlands: 12.5
    Portugal: 3.8

    I’m seeing a pattern here…

    Only Iceland has a higher rate of drug-related deaths (220) than the US, and that could be an outlier because of their small population. Looks like their best strategy would be decriminalisation, maybe save a couple of dozen lives or so.

  8. Given recent history 2001-present, US needs to smoke a lot more in order to arrive at a decent level of chill …

    Where I live in China they have several ‘reggea bars’, and those adolescent kids in dreads smoke completely out in the open (and share with foreigners like me).

    They actually told me that the huge majority of police does not even know what cannabis is and what it smells like. It simply isnt widespread enough it seems.

  9. Interesting about Nigeria.  Out of the whole African continent, that is the one that smokes the ganja the most. I thought it might be South Africa.

  10. I really effing hate that they colored in the globe to present this data. It’s really misleading as an info-graphic  unless you are talking about something per-sq-mi or  land use.  If its a percentage of people in different countries, it would be more informative to relate the data to population size or some other thing besides the size of the country (which seems trivial to me).

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