Today on Awearness Blog, we’re looking at an important issue facing our community.
According to data on drug usage from the first 17 countries participating in the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative, the United States leads in the use of tobacco, marijuana, and cocaine, and is in the top 10 for alcohol consumption. Wow.
The numbers for cocaine and marijuana are particularly striking: 16.2 percent of American survey respondents said they’d used cocaine in their lifetime. New Zealand and Spain were a distant second and third, with 4.3 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. New Zealand is almost as big of a pothead country as we are, with 41.9 percent using the drug versus our 42.4 percent; the two are way ahead of the rest of the world, with the Netherlands — where marijuana is legal only in state-licensed cannabis cafes — coming in third at 19.8 percent.
It makes you wonder — are our drug laws really working? It’s hard to imagine they’d be higher without the War on Drugs — $26 billion spent and counting, and still not a success — but could the high rate be in part a result of it?