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Danes undisputed European Champions … at getting high

Nearly 36 percent of Danes between 15 and 64 say they have tried cannabis


The number of Danish potheads even topped those from the Netherlands, despite that country’s famous liberal policies towards the drug (Photo: Colourbox)

May 28, 2014
14:15

by Ray Weaver


Over one third of Danish adults have smoked cannabis at one time or another in their lives, which makes Danes the Eurochamps at firing up a fatty.

According to the recently released European Drug Report 2014, nearly 36 percent of Danes between 15 and 64 years old say they have tried cannabis.

The numbers of Danish potheads even topped those from the Netherlands, despite that country’s famous liberal policies towards the drug. Dutch dancers with Mary Jane only numbered one in four, causing substance abuse expert Henrik Ringdom to say that Danish politicians are handling the drug all wrong.

“The numbers clearly show that the government has it wrong,” Ringdom told Ekstra Bladet newspaper. “If criminalising cannabis did any good, then one would think fewer Danes would smoke than they do in the Netherlands, where the drug is legal, but it is completely the opposite. More Danes smoke cannabis, even though it is illegal.”

READ MORE: Mayor overspending on cannabis experiment

Turkish kids out-toking Danes
Danish youngsters are going to have to toke harder, though. While 17.6 percent of young people admitted to sparking up last year, they were denied the top spot by the 18.5 percent of Turkish youngsters who smoked cannabis last year.

“Most just try it a few times and stop,” said Ringdom.”There are those who use cannabis to make their lives a little less painful, and we turn them into criminals. That is a problem.”

Ringdom said that money spent on police efforts to bust cannabis users would be better spent educating school kids about the dangers of tobacco.

“If you put the brakes on cigarette smoking, you will slow down the numbers that start smoking cannabis,” he said. “It is much easier to start smoking cannabis if one is already smoking cigarettes.”



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