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Nick Jardine, Business Insider Europe: These Are The European Nations That Smoke The Most Pot

These Are The European Nations That Smoke The Most Pot  
by Nick Jardine, October 18, 2011

Yesterday, it was reported that half of all Americans supported the legalization of marijuana. We decided to take a look at the EU and se if this opinion will sway anyone’s opinion either way?The European Monitoring Center For Drugs and Drug Addiction assesses annually the situation regarding narcotics on the continent.

In order to determine which country smokes the most marijuana, the organization looks at a variety of statistics. These include how many of the adult population (15 to 65-years-old) have smoked the drug in the last 12 months (or the last 12 months for which the organization has statistics for).

We’ve taken this set of statistics and used it to rank the top 20 pot-smoking countries in the EU. We’ve also included figures showing what percentage of each country’s adults have smoked marijuana during their lifetime.

#20 Slovenia

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 3.1 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: N/A

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possession is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or a short period of detention. Possession for personal use is usually punished by a smaller fine.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

#19 Austria

#19 Austria

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 3.5 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 14.2 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: For small possession a fine or maybe short-term imprisonment. A range of “alternative” punishments are also used. Under some circumstances prosecution can be withdrawn. For offenses involving larger quantities of the drug punishment can range from one to 20 years imprisonment depending on the amount involved and the nature of the offense.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#18 Portugal

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 3.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 11.7 percent

The law regarding cannabis: Being caught with a small amount of cannabis deemed for personal use will result in an evaluation by a local Commission for Disuasion of Drug Addiction. So long as there’s not connection to gang or trafficking activities, offenders may get off punishment free.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#17 Finland

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 3.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 14.3 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Use or possession of the drug can result in a fine or six months imprisonment. However, prosecution for the offense can be waived if the crime is considered insignificant or if the perpetrator has sought appropriate rehabilitation.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#16 Norway

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 3.8 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 14.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Minor possession can result in a fine or up to six months imprisonment. Repeat offenses within three months are usually prosecuted.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#15 Cyprus

#15 Cyprus

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 4.4 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 11.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: In exceptional circumstances, life imprisonment can be issued for use and possessors can be imprisoned for up to eight years. There is a maximum of a two year sentence for first offenders under the age of 25. In practice, warnings can be given to minor first time offenders.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#14 Germany

#14 Germany

Image: Moe_ via Flickr

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 4.8 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 25.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possession can be punished by up to five years in jail or a fine. However, punishment doesn’t have to be used if the case involves an insufficient amount of the drug. Possession of a small amount of marijuana is a criminal offense, but it is not prosecuted when the drug is deemed for personal use, minors are not involved and there is no harm to third parties.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#13 Latvia

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 4.9 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 12.1 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Small amounts of the drug can result in a fine or a brief detention period. Larger amounts determined for personal use can lead to sentences of up to seven years in jail.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#12 Belgium

#12 Belgium

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 5.1 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 14.3 percent

The law regarding possession of marijuana: Possession of marijuana for personal use is illegal but only receives a police warning if it’s not causing any kind of public nuisance. If the possession of the drug is having an impact on third parties then the resulting penalty can be three months to one year in prison.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#11 Netherlands

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 5.4 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 22.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana can be punished by imprisonment for one month or a fine. However, single measures of five grams can be sold and possessed inside coffee shops. Coffee shops are not supposed to have more than 500 grams of marijuana in their possession at any one time. The country’s prosecutors do say that possession of the drug for personal use does have the lowest judicial priority.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#10 Denmark

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 5.4 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 32.5 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possessing marijuana for personal use will normally result in a fine. On limited occasions a warning can be issued with repeat warnings issued on a very limited basis. Multiple offenses can result in up to two years in prison.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#9 Lithuania

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 5.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 11.9 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Carrying five grams or less of the drug constitutes a misdemeanor and can result in a fine, detention of 10 to 45 days or a “restriction of freedom” for two years. Carrying larger amounts can lead to a prison sentence of up to two years.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

 

#8 Estonia

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 6.0 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: N/A

The law regarding marijuana possession: It is a misdemeanor to carry a small amount of the drug which can result in a fine or a 30-day administrative arrest. It is a crime to carry larger amounts, punishable by up to 10 years jail time. A large amount is defined by enough of the substance to intoxicate 10 people.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#7 Ireland

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 6.3 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 21.9 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: First or second offenders carrying drugs for personal use will usually escape with a fine. Third-time offenders will incur a possible prison sentence of one year.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#6 United Kingdom

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 6.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 30.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possession of the drug is punishable by up to five years in prison. However, police may choose to offer warnings rather than push forward with prosecution. Courts also can order alternative punishments such as community service instead of jail time.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#5 Slovakia

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 6.9 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 16.1 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Possession can result in up to three years in prison or home imprisonment if appropriate. However, based on the individuals situation and circumstances, any sentence under two years can be waived if authorities are convinced the goal of the punishment can be fulfilled without jail time.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#4 France

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 8.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 30.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: Use is punishable up to one year in prison with possession able to produce a sentence of 10 years. Abusers may be sent on an educational drug course, at their own cost, which is seen as the usual punishment for first time offenders with small amounts for personal use.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#3 Spain

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 10.6 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 27.3 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: 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.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

#2 Czech Republic

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 11.1 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 27.6 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: If the quantity is small then possession warrants a fine or a warning. Larger quantities, over 15 grams of the drug, can result in a year in prison.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

 

 

 

 

And in at #1…Italy

And in at #1...Italy

Percentage of adults using marijuana over last available 12-month period: 14.3 percent 

Percentage of adults who’ve used marijuana: 32.0 percent

The law regarding marijuana possession: A warning is given on the first offense if the amount possessed is small. After that administrative sanctions can be used. If these sanctions cannot be applied, further warnings are issued.

SOURCE: EMCDDA

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