Time Magazine lead with the story, generated in part from a U.N. report on global drug use in 2010. Cannabis, according to that report, boasts somewhere between 119 million and 224 million and is the most widely produced and trafficked drug that any other illicit drug. The report also claims:
“About 230 million people, or 5 per cent of the world’s adult population, are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in 2010. Problem drug users number about 27 million, which is 0.6 per cent of the world adult
population. Throughout the world, illicit drug use appears to be generally stable, though it continues to be rising in several developing countries. Heroin, cocaine and other drugs kill around 0.2 million people each year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people. Illicit drugs undermine economic and social development and contribute to crime, instability, insecurity and the spread of HIV.”
While the increase in popularity of weed hardly shocks me, some other facts in the report were eye-opening. Namely, that Afghanistan’s most lucrative cash crop is cannabis, which replaces heroin. The next most widely-used class of drugs globally are ATS, or amphetamine-type substances. (I would have thought cocaine.) And most people tend to stop using drugs as adults and “relatively few people who have used an illicit substance once progress to frequent or regular (i.e. monthly) use.” The only exception is tranquilizers.
Read the entire report here.