The latest research from a UN report has shown that the use of cannabis has increased worldwide due to further legalisation and the effects of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Since US states began to legalise cannabis they have been followed by other nations including Uruguay, Canada and most recently Thailand.
The UN report states that approximately 284 million people have used a drug such as cocaine, amphetamines or heroin in the past year. This is a 26% increase over the past decade.
209 million people have used cannabis during the same period.
Coupled with further legalisation “periods of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic drove increases in the use of cannabis … in 2020,” it said.
With the increase use of cannabis there are worrying trends however. The report goes on to state that “the proportion of people with psychiatric disorders and suicides associated with regular cannabis use has increased”.
It is not only the use of cannabis that has increased either. Young adults appear to be seeking out stronger products of marijuana with higher levels of THC. This has led to further pressure being placed on health systems due to cannabis addiction, particularly in Latin America and Africa according to the report.
Cannabis was not the only drug to see an increase. Cocaine production hit a record high in 2020 and trafficking via the sea is shown to be growing with an increase of use in Africa and Asia.
The UN took cannabis off of their most dangerous drugs list in December 2020, just a few months prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.