According to a UN report, the legalization of cannabis and the blockade of COVID-19 may have contributed to the increased use of cannabis.
“The legalization of cannabis seems to have accelerated the upward trend in reported daily use of drugs,” said the 2022 United Nations World Drug Report.pdf), Released on June 27th.
Places that have legalized cannabis (certain states in the United States, Canada, and Uruguay) have increased their use and frequency and reported a high rate of adolescent use (“pdf).
However, according to the United Nations, the increase in cannabis use began long before the legalization of 2007-2008.
In addition, these locations also generally indicate a diminished awareness of cannabis harm.
“Adolescent cannabis use hasn’t changed much,” but the report states that a significant increase in young adults are using powerful products more often.
A Previous research According to Columbia University, the legalization of recreational marijuana has shown increased use in certain demographics.
Although the report focuses on these three countries, various states in the United States have legalized non-medical use of cannabis, starting in Washington and Colorado in 2012.
In Canada and the United States, legalized cannabis, such as Colorado and California, has increased visits to emergency rooms as a result of cannabis use, legalizing the proportion of people with cannabis-related mental illness and suicide. It states that it has increased everywhere.
In addition, “the blockade period during the COVID-19 pandemic increased cannabis use” in 2020 (latest data available), the report said.
Trends in drug use during a pandemic
Cannabis remains one of the most widely abused drugs and is the third most popular substance in the world after tobacco and alcohol. By 2020, about 284 million people, or 5.6% of the world’s population, were using drugs such as heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy, according to the report.
Of these, 209 million use cannabis, accounting for 4% of the world’s population.
Cocaine production set a new record in 2020 and sea transport is on the rise, the report added, with seizure and drug treatment data suggesting expansion from two major markets in North America and Europe to Africa and Asia. doing.
Opioids remain the deadliest drug, accounting for 77 percent of the world’s drug-related deaths, according to the report. Global opioid attacks hit new highs in 2020, with fentanyl pushing deaths from overdose to new records. In the United States, the provisional estimate for 2021 is 107,622.
Canada also reported a 95% increase in opioid overdose mortality during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.