Legalisation of marijuana increases consumption and resulting psychological problems and suicides: UN report

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New York, United States Updated: Jun 27, 2022, 03:58 PM(IST)

According to the research, the most recent data available in 2020 showed that 284 million people, or 5.6 per cent of the world's population, had used a narcotic like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, or ecstasy. 209 million of them smoked marijuana. Photograph:( Reuters )

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However, the percentage of people who suffer from psychological conditions and commit suicide with regular use of cannabis has increased

United Nations' annual World Drug Report is here and it tells a story about cannabis that was pretty much expected. The legalisation of non-medical use of cannabis has significantly increased the regular use of the drug. Covid lockdowns too had a similar effect, with nothing else to do, people turned to the recreational use of cannabis. The drug has long been the world's most widely used drug and as per the report it is getting 'stronger' too. The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of cannabis available on the market is increasing, getting stronger reports Reuters. Vienna-based UNODC's report stated that "cannabis legalisation appears to have accelerated the upward trends in reported daily use of the drug."

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In recent years various states in the US and elsewhere have legalised the non-medical use of cannabis. In 2012, the US states of Washington and Colorado started the trend. After the US, Uruguay legalised it in 2013, followed by Canada in 2018. While more countries have taken this step the UN report focused only on these three countries.

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There had been "a pronounced increase in the reported frequent use of high-potency products among young adults," the research noted, however, the incidence of cannabis use among teenagers "has not changed much." 

However, the percentage of people who suffer from psychological conditions and commit suicide with regular use of cannabis has increased.

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According to the research, the most recent data available in 2020 showed that 284 million people, or 5.6 per cent of the world's population, had used a narcotic like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, or ecstasy. 209 million of them smoked marijuana.

The COVID-19 pandemic's "lockdown" times triggered rises "in cannabis use... in 2020," the report claimed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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