Posted January 05, 2019 07:27:27 Australia has the highest rate of cannabis use in the world, according to a new report.
The United Nations Drug Dependency Monitoring Programme (UNDP) released the latest figures this week.
The report found that Australians consume a whopping 27.5 million kilograms of cannabis in total annually.
Key points: Australia’s rate of consumption is one of the highest in the developed world The report found Australians have the highest proportion of their daily cannabis use to the US and France, while it’s lowest in Canada and South KoreaThe report says Australian cannabis consumption was “higher than the rest of the world” and “among the highest rates of cannabis consumption in the OECD” in 2018.
The country also had the highest number of Australians with a prescription for cannabis.
“We’ve been working very hard to change our cannabis policies to be less restrictive, and that’s why we’ve seen the cannabis use rates in Australia fall dramatically,” UNDP director general Jose Cardona said.
“So we’re very happy that we’ve been able to achieve that, and now we need to keep going.”
The report, which looked at cannabis use patterns across the OECD countries, found Australia had the largest proportion of its daily cannabis consumption to the United States and France.
It said that this meant the cannabis consumption rate in Australia was “above the OECD average of 27.2 million kilograms annually”.
It also found the country’s rate was also the highest of any OECD country.
The United Nations report also found Australia was one of only four OECD countries to report that a majority of adults aged 18 and over reported using cannabis.
“We know that the vast majority of Australians have tried cannabis and it’s a safe drug,” UNDDP director-general Cardona told reporters.
“But that’s not necessarily enough to make us a safe society.”
Cannabis-using Australians ‘worrying about their safety’Dr Cardona also said that while there was some progress in terms of the government’s plans to limit cannabis use, the overall situation in Australia remained worrying.
“[Cannas] is an extremely addictive drug, it’s very dangerous and we need an effective approach to make sure that people do not use it in ways that they will become addicted to it,” he said.
“The more cannabis-using we become, the more people will be concerned about their own safety, the health and safety of their family, friends and colleagues.”
In the report, Cardona recommended that Australia implement a range of measures to increase the safety of its users.
This included increasing the number of supervised injection sites to reduce the risk of injecting drugs being stolen or sold to the general public, and increasing the maximum penalty for people found guilty of possessing cannabis in public places.
He also urged the government to continue to improve the public health system and reduce the harm caused by cannabis.
The report comes just months after a study found Australians were less likely to use cannabis in the first place, and more likely to be caught up in a “black market” than other countries.
In June, a survey of 1,000 people found Australians use cannabis at an average of about three times a week.