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Drug Facts: U.S vs Europe

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A statistical look at some maps highlighting the differences in drug use in the U.S and Europe.

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Surprisingly Iceland ranked the number 1 country where cannabis use is most prevalent. According to United Nations (U.N.) Office on Drugs and Crime the result for Iceland can be controversial. Previous studies survey school students and found cannabis use to be exceptionally low with only 34 per thousand (3.4%).

U.N. studies combine data from different source, often self-reported by the countries themselves so some differences can result in anomalies like this. The Netherlands, which has a liberal attitude towards cannabis, doesn’t even make the top five.

The U.S ranked 2nd, Spain 3rd, the Czech Republic 4th and France 5th.

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Europe storms ahead of America when it comes to the price of cannabis. In the U.S a gram of marijuana is typically around $10-15 where as in Ireland, which ranked in at number 1, it costs around $25-30 per gram.

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Spain took the number one spot for the most drug-related arrests; suprising as drug possession is no longer a criminal offence in Spain, meaning that people are being arrested for more serious drug related crimes.

Despite its strict law enforcements and penalties for drug related crimes the U.S came in 2nd.

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Although the U.S has a much larger problem with many other drugs, other than cannabis, than most European countries, but the map above shows that a significant proportion of users are actually getting help for their addiction. Malta, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and the U.K all ranked in the top 5 countries with the most people getting treatment for their addiction.

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