We’re #1!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 1, 2008

    So I went to the Drug Czar’s blog today, but strangely enough, I couldn’t find any mention of this story.

    US leads the world in illegal drug use
    via CBS News

    Despite tough anti-drug laws, a new survey shows the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world.

    The World Health Organization’s survey of legal and illegal drug use in 17 countries, including the Netherlands and other countries with less stringent drug laws, shows Americans report the highest level of cocaine and marijuana use.

    For example, Americans were four times more likely to report using cocaine in their lifetime than the next closest country, New Zealand (16% vs. 4%). Marijuana use was more widely reported worldwide, and the U.S. also had the highest rate of use at 42.4% compared with 41.9% of New Zealanders.

    In contrast, in the Netherlands, which has more liberal drug policies than the U.S., only 1.9% of people reported cocaine use and 19.8% reported marijuana use.

    “Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones,” researcher Louisa Degenhardt of the University of New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues write in PLoS Medicine.

    One wonders if Drug Czar John Walters can even show his face in public today. Seriously, is there anything this man has ever said that this new WHO report doesn’t expose to be a blatant and deliberate lie?

    America is ‘winning’ the war on drugs? Wrong! The US actually leads the world in illicit drug use, despite increasing the number of drug offenders behind bars 1100 percent since 1980.

    Liberalizing marijuana laws will escalate marijuana use? False! Marijuana use is twice as prevalent in the United States as it is in Spain and Italy (where marijuana possession is quasi-legal) and the Netherlands — where marijuana is openly used and sold in public.

    Experimenting with marijuana is a ‘gateway’ to the use of cocaine? Lie! Rates of cocaine use in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands — three nations with some of the most liberal pot policies in the world — is actually eight times less than it is in the United States.

    Talking about pot in public makes my nose grow longer? True! Whoops, I made that one up.

    Anyway, you can check out the full study, along with this very telling table, here.

    23 responses to “We’re #1!”

    1. Lee L. Lacker says:

      It’s disturbing how stubborn the government is towards drug policies… *Shudders*

    2. […] that one up. Anyway, you can check out the full study, along with this very telling table, here. NORML Blog ? Blog Archive ? We’re #1! __________________ Finally back! See this thread for more info and the pictures of […]

    3. Chris says:

      Something tells me the “War on Drugs” has absolutely nothing to do with stopping the use of drugs among our citizens.

      America is ALL about incarceration, and not rehabilitation. Prohibit what they want, tax what they’re allowed. Pharmacueticals, Fossil Fuel companies, Cotton, Prisons, DEA, and many more PROFIT by prohibiting Cannabis. It has nothing to do with how dangerous or habit forming it is.

    4. Jeremy says:

      After my OCD research in cannabis, prohibition, hemp etc I’ve become very paranoid and afraid of living here with our government. and ashamed, a little. wem511@gmail.com

    5. el bum says:

      America is number one in drug use, and Denmark is the happiest country in the world! You’d think with all the drug use in America, we’d be happier than any other country. I guess freedom makes a big difference!

    6. mosborn2020 says:

      the dwar on drugs is actually the war against the drug dealers not the users, and also the big fish is never caught, only the middlemen are in the prisons.
      mark osborn
      Addiction Recovery Colorado

    7. Blue says:

      I am quick to agree with Chris and that the truth is, the seed baring plant with so many uses has nil to do with it where as $ $ $ seems to have everything to do with it.

      When you think about how many jobs would be lost and how much less money our U.S. govt. would have to piss away should common sense prevail concerning the healing herb it is no shock that they would seek to do the opposite and get even more $ $ $ out of it by locking up more non violent citizens and seizing all their property to boot.

      Their real priorities disgust me as those dollars come at the expense of ruining so many lives needlessly and turning their backs on basic compassion for the rest of us.

      I hope they enjoy their liver, kidney, heart, and vast assortment of other problems stemming from the booze and big pharm they lap up like dogs on a summer day.

    8. jim says:

      the politicians in this country put themselves before us, the exact attitude that this country was formed to diminish. America was formed on the basis of the voice of the people, not the voice of those who falsely represent us. the drug war isn’t “contraversial”, it was contraversial when we didn’t know anything about pot. now we do, we know it’s not harmful, it’s beneficial in more ways than i can remember. the drug war, it’s a mockery of what we supposedly represent as a nation.

    9. […] Evans also failed to cite a World Health Organization report, published last year, which reported: US leads the world in illegal drug use via CBS […]

    10. […] Despite 70+ years of criminal prohibition in the United States (and countless billions of dollars spent attempting to interdict marijuana at our southern border), America remains the primary destination for Mexican pot. Why? Because like it or not, Americans consume cannabis; in fact, Americans lead the world in their consumption of pot. […]