Out of all the hard drugs in the world, Cannabis Sativa, popularly known as Indian Hemp or Marijuana is the most consumed. In most countries, the abuse of cannabis usually take up a very much greater percentage among other drug abuse cases. While Marijuana is tolerated in some countries, just in the name of decriminalization, it is absolutely illegal in some others. It is only in North Korea, that Indian hemp is legal. All the same, legal or not legal, it has been discovered that even in countries where the consumption, possession and cultivation of cannabis is totally illegal, there is still very high rate of cannabis consumption there. It’ll be nice to point out that one major vice prevalent in these countries where marijuana is largely smoked or used is that of insecurity. Another surprising thing about this ranking is that India actually didn’t make it to the list. Maybe its high time we change the name to some other country like…
However, the ranking in this article was not strictly done according to the highest or lowest figures obtained. This is as a result of the constant fluctuation in the exact facts and figures with which such ranking could be determined. But on a general overview, these 17 countries are among the places where cannabis is most smoked.
Most Weed Smokers of the World
Though there is “zero tolerance” of cannabis in Australia, it is never a serious deterrent to those who feel they are feeding on the ‘good things of their land’. About 10% of the entire country’s population cannot do without marijuana on a daily basis.
Buying, selling, possessing, or consuming cannabis in public locations is decriminalized in Spain, meaning the punishment is merely a small fine and confiscation. Possession or use in a public place can result in administrative sanctioning. Authorities deem that possession of about 40 grams is an amount worth pursuing for punishment. All the same, Spain remains one of the countries well-known for being “very patriotic” to marijuana. More than 10% of the country’s population smoke “ganja”.
13. Zambia (17.7%)
While the use of cannabis has long been widespread in Zambia, recent rapid increases in consumption among the youth both in urban and rural areas have led tribal and government authorities to take a firm stance against its cultivation, sale and use. It is widely believed that at least 75% of all psychiatric patients in Zambia are there as a result of drug abuse, including that of cannabis. The government is still looking into how to reduce the increasing prevalent use of the drug in Zambia.
12. New Zealand
Marijuana is still illegal, and burning it down in Kiwi land is not uncommon. But almost 15 percent of people ages 16 to 64 enjoy the “natural gift of God”. Steep fines and short prison time has been slapped on unauthorized possessors, but recent steps to relax these laws have been introduced. The Green Party works to decriminalize users and holders, and a 2011 Law Commission review said that the anti-cannabis legislation needs to be revisited. What we are saying here is that despite all moves to curb or regulate the use of cannabis in New Zealand, she still ranks with countries where it is mostly smoked.
11. United States
Though it’s illegal at the federal level, the U.S. is gradually becoming much more weed-friendly. This may be as a result of the much ado that is given to human rights recently. It is ending up legalizing even the most bizarre practices just in the name of rights and freedom. It seems that most Americans support legalization as about 15% of the country’s population cannot do without the drugs.
Portugal is extremely progressive in its treatment of drug offenses, and became the first country in the world to decriminalize all drug use (for personal consumption) in 2001, opting instead to treat drug use as a sickness and enforce treatment rather than punishment. In 2001, the country decriminalized drug possession, and people are allowed to possess up to 25 grams of marijuana for personal consumption. This seems to let everyone loose to trying out all forms of hard drugs of which cannabis is the most tried and sustained.
Jamaica is another country that has an international reputation for having a culture rooted deeply in cannabis – with Rastafarianism revolving around the spiritual use of cannabis. The cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis is illegal in Jamaica, but due to its cultural relevance and acceptance it is often very openly produced, sold and consumed with very little legal repercussion. Although marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, high-quality strains are offered everywhere.
8. Nigeria (14.3%)
On the world cannabis consumption chart Nigeria trails behind only Ghana in Africa. From the NDLEA records, about 80 percent of substances abuses, trade and use in Nigeria is cannabis. It is most rampant in Lagos, the biggest commercial city in Nigeria. At Oshodi, a commercial hub in Lagos, large sections of the railway lines have been colonised by marijuana smokers. All day long, smokers freely smoke the drug in public view. Those who do the selling, usually boys as young as 12 years old, are often scruffy-looking and hang around in clusters. They clutch black nylon bags containing the drugs and make catcalls – a peculiar form of advertisement – to potential buyers.
7. Czech Republic (15.2%)
The case in Czech Republic is that the use of all drugs is decriminalised. That is one of the things that created room for the free consumption or smoking of cannabis. Subsequently, the use of marijuana for medical treatment was made legal by the government on the first of April, 2013. It is now tolerated (but technically still illegal) to grow up to 5 plants at once for personal use. This normally means that as long as you are being sensibly discreet and not offending anyone the police should leave you alone. That’ why a great number of people in Czech republic are “grimly savouring this wonderful gift of God”.
If you have a close observation of the contents of this article, you’ll get to realise that it is even in the countries where there are stringent measures against the use of cannabis that smoke the drug most. Despite the fact that the possession, cultivation, sale, and consumption of marijuana are all illegal in Iceland. In particular, the possession, cultivation and sale of this drug are heavily penalised. Anyone caught doing these things in Iceland faces the possibility of a jail sentence. Yet, almost 20% of Iceland’s population smoke marijuana. That means in Iceland, over 55,000 out of 320,000 people smoke weed.
Uruguay is one of the very few countries where possession for personal use is legal, (even though what qualifies as a personal amount has not been defined). Uruguay is set to make the country the first in the world to create a state-run marijuana industry by fixing the price at a point low enough to squeeze the black market and allowing the government to control cultivation and distribution, come April 2014. In an effort to curb traffickers, the country is set to legalize the sale, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis, and plans to begin to sell it for $1 a gram.
The Netherlands have incredibly relaxed marijuana laws and acceptance of people smoking in public spaces, such as bars and cafes, especially in Amsterdam. Possession of a small amount is illegal, but tolerated (decriminalized). It is totally ok to have up to 5g on your person in public and up to 30g in a private residence.
In Ghana, smoking of India hemp among youth is high; it is the cheapest and most widely abused drug. At Agbogbloshie, a suburb of Accra, numerous youth from the northern part of Ghana smoke Indian hemp. In Dormaa Traditional Area of Ghana, there is high rate of Indian hemp smoking among the youth including school children. 21.5% of Ghanaians, aged from 15 to age 64 smoke India Hemp. The contradictory thing in the case of Ghana is that Indian hemp is illegal in all forms – private or public consumption, possession, cultivation or sales of the drug. Yet, the smoking of Indian hemp in this African country continue to sky-rocket.
I call that of Cambodia, “nominal illegality”. Yes, what I mean by that is that the use of marijuana is illegal in Cambodia but it is still freely used by people there. There is a lot of historical significance of cannabis among the Khmer people which has made it very hard for the government to remove it from mainstream use – to the point where they have pretty much given up trying. Many restaurants even cook with it or offer it as a side dish!
1. North Korea
We do not even need figures before we conclude that it is in North Korea that Indian Hemp is consumed most, seeing that it is the only country of the world where the consumption, possession and cultivation of cannabis both for private and public use is accepted. The truth is that, in North Korea, they smoke marijuana for very different reasons. They don’t smoke just to get high and laugh at nothing, they do it to save money and as a break from the universal cheap local cigarettes. In the black markets of North Korea, marijuana is commonly sold at a cheap price and is easily obtainable. Therefore, the drug is especially popular among the lower classes of North Korean society. After a day of hard manual labor, it is common for North Korean workers to smoke marijuana as a way to relax and soothe tight or sore muscles. The shocking conclusion is that marijuana is not considered a drug in North Korea and is even sold at the food markets!
However, we continue to warn and create the awareness, especially for the naive ones, that smoking Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp or Marijuana) has serious negative health repercussions!