Despite cannabis being the most widely-taken ‘drug’ in the world, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) who just released their 2017 report, were unable to find a single case of an overdose from the four corners of the globe
The report, which summarized statistics from 2015, found that cannabis is the most consumed ‘illegal’ substance, yet is on the whole safe and not considered addictive nor fatal.
The report estimates that cannabis is taken by 3.8 percent of the adult population, which is roughly 183 million people worldwide, or somewhere between 128 million 238 million, depending on the metric.
Having looked at global numbers, the report took a closer look at medical cannabis use in the states, noting that there was an increase of marijuana use for the population age 12 and older, from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 8.3 percent in 2015. According to NSDUH, in 2015 an estimated 22 million Americans age 12 and older used marijuana in the past month.
Similarly in the EU, an average of 6.6 percent of people aged 15-64 took cannabis in 2015, with roughly 3 million adults taking cannabis daily, 70 percent of which were aged between 15 and 34
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Despite being a natural herb, the report noted that cannabis is paradoxically the most widely “illicitly produced drug” in the world. From 2010-2015, cannabis was cultivated in 135 countries.
The specifics of how many cannabis plants were destroyed after being found by authorities, those numbers are a compelling. For example, in single years between 2011 and 2015, these countries destroyed these amounts of plants: Paraguay, 12,122,750 plants; Ukraine: 7,550,000; Peru: 6,200,578; Tajikistan: 2,180,121; Costa Rica: 1,727,175; Netherlands: 1,600,000; Brazil: 1,364,316; and Jamaica: 1,053,000.
For their part, the various drug and narcotic agencies in America claimed that in the same period they had found and eradicated plants in 396,620 indoor sites and 3,904,213 outdoor sites
Even though at least 6,000 tons of cannabis was seized annually around the world, there have been no reported overdoses or deaths from cannabis. This fact is making all the prohibition look a little disproportionate, not to mention hypocritical.
UNODC estimated that there were 190,900 drug-related deaths in 2015, none of which were form cannabis or a derivative of. In contrast to that statistic, deaths from opioids between 1999 and 2015 tripled in number, as doctors across the world prescribed more of these drugs than ever before, regardless of the devastating consequences.
You can see a copy of the full UNODC report HERE.
[Image credit- pixabay]