Tag: cannabis

2017 World Drug Report Outlines Global Opioid Crisis

Yesterday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its 2017 World Drug Report. The extensive document reads like a tell-all book regarding the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal substances on a global scale.

The report this year outlined the grim news related to the massive synthetic drug crisis that exists in our world today, stating that “Opioids were the most harmful drug type and accounted for 70 per cent of the negative health impact associated with drug use disorders worldwide.”

According to the report, China has become a world-leader in synthetic drug manufacturing, including laboratory-made opioids like Fentanyl.

Last year, the Public Health Agency of Canada estimated that 2,458 Canadians died of opioid overdoses. This news comes on the heels of statements made by top doctors in Canada that cannabis can reduce opioid consumption.

In the United States, the numbers for the opioid epidemic are significantly greater, with overdose deaths rising threefold between 1999 and 2014. Opioid mortality in the U.S. rose 72 percent between 2014 and 2015, taking an estimated 59,000 lives in 2016.

opioid drug flow global

Main opiate trafficking flows, 2011-2015

The United Nation’s cannabis findings

On the subject of marijuana, the UNODC report states that cannabis production “remains a global phenomenon.”

According to the report, the worldwide cannabis community hovers at approximately 183 million members, which is roughly 3.8 percent of the global population. Between 2010 and 2015, the global cannabis community planted seeds in 135 countries, covering approximately 92% of the inhabited planet.

The cannabis-related figures are more than likely on the low-end side, due to the fact that the numbers are measured and estimated using seizures by law enforcement, and in a growing number of countries, cannabis prosecution is not a police priority.

global cannabis seizures

Global quantities of cannabis resin and herb seized

North America, for example, has seen a decline in marijuana seizures from 2010 to 2015, coinciding with significant cannabis law changes in many U.S. states. Still, 39 percent of all global cannabis seizures in 2015 occurred within the borders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Adding to the data on pot, by March of 2016, an estimated 1.2 million Americans were registered for medical cannabis. California, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have the highest concentration of medical marijuana patients.

Where is all the world’s weed coming from?

The worldwide trafficking of cannabis is outlined greatly in the UN document. The most reported sources for shipments of pot across international borders come from Mexico and Canada, however, this does not mean Mexico and Canada are the largest producers of cannabis. The report points out that significant quantities of cannabis are produced in the United States for domestic consumption and not for export purposes.

In South America, the Caribbean, and Central America, the main sources of international cannabis production are Colombia, Paraguay, and Jamaica. In Africa, the continent’s biggest producers are Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, and Swaziland. And in Europe, Albania and the Netherlands were reported as the most common places for cross-border marijuana trafficking.

Perhaps the most fascinating point of reference coming out of this year’s UNODC news is the acknowledgment of the failed “war on drugs.” Chloe Carpentier, Chief of the Drug Research Section at UNODC, said that “sending people to jail, punishing people for minor drug offenses has not worked. In fact, it is highly detrimental. It only increases the possibility of all sorts of social dislocations [such as] violence, crimes, stigma and also the spread of diseases.”

The UNODC report puts the world’s drug problem under a powerful microscope, and at the same time, offers a window into the very nature of the human condition.

 

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Irish Medical Cannabis Activist Flees for the Netherlands

While European countries move swiftly to create cannabis reform for patients in dire need of the alternative treatment option, the Government of Ireland is intentionally stonewalling their medical cannabis bill, according to at least one member of the Parliament of Ireland. As reported in the Irish Times, Member of Parliament (TD) Gino Kenny stated that the cannabis bill he co-authored is […]

 

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Extensive Survey Finds Pot Users Are More Successful and Content

A recent survey by BDS Analytics is debunking the myth that cannabis users are lazy and unmotivated. In fact, the research shows that people who enjoy marijuana are among the most satisfied and successful people in society.

In what is being touted as the most comprehensive and detailed look at cannabis consumers ever conducted, the study found that cannabis consumers have an overall healthier well-being when compared to those who abstain. The survey covered a number of mental, social, and financial aspects of people living in California and Colorado, two states that have legalized adult-use cannabis.

The subjects of the study were classified into one of three groups:

  • Consumers (people who consume cannabis)
  • Acceptors (people who do not consume cannabis but might consider it)
  • Rejecters (people who do not consume cannabis and would not consider it)

For starters, pot consumers living in California, on average, have a household income of $93,800. That average household income drops to $73,900 for rejecters of cannabis.

The notion that those who toke up are uneducated was also found to be drastically misguided. The survey reports that 20 percent of Californian consumers hold master’s degrees, compared to 12 percent among rejectors.

In terms of personality and social interaction, the survey found that 36 percent of cannabis consumers describe themselves as very social people, compared to 28 percent of rejecters.

Other findings from this extensive study show that marijuana users enjoy the outdoors, volunteer their time to help others, and are more likely to be parents of young children.

“Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them,” said Linda Gilbert, head of the consumer research division at BDS Analytics. “In fact, positive lifestyle indicators like volunteering, socializing, satisfaction with life and enjoyment of exercise and the outdoors are highest among cannabis consumers, at least in Colorado and California.”

For those of us who do enjoy cannabis, these numbers come as no surprise.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

 

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