America loves drugs

According to a new international study, the United States has the highest rates of pot and coke use, followed by New Zealand. The other 15 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization didn't even come close. Approximately 42.4 percent of those surveyed in the US say they've used marijuana, with 20.2 percent admitting to having tried the drug by age 15. From Alternet:

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy tried to dismiss the study, Bloomberg News reported:

Trying to find a link between drug use and drug enforcement doesn't make sense, said Tom Riley, spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy in Washington. "The U.S. has high crime rates but we spend a lot on law enforcement and prison," Riley said yesterday in a telephone interview. "Should we spend less? We're just a different kind of country. We have higher drug use rates, a higher crime rate, many things that go with a highly free and mobile society."

Funny, ONDCP takes precisely the opposite line whenever a state considers liberalizing its marijuana laws. In a March press release, deputy Drug Czar Scott Burns railed against a New Hampshire proposal to decriminalize marijuana, saying such a move "sends the wrong message to New Hampshire's youth, students, parents, public health officials and the law enforcement community," and would lead to "more drugs, drug users and drug dealers on their streets and communities."

WHO drug use survey (Alternet, via Dose Nation)