These Countries Love Weed The Most
From Iceland to Amsterdam, Jamaica to the USA, the whole world loves marijuana.
With respect to the entire world, all seven continents, which country is home to the population that truly loves weed the most? Such a metric is hard to define, and influenced by a number of varying factors, but part of an important question nonetheless.
For context, a recent study conducted by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODOC) lists countries around the globe, according to the amount of cannabis consumed in each. And well, the results are somewhat surprising.
Iceland gave the world singer/songwriter, and goth icon Björk. The country also enjoys daylight for twenty-fours-a-day, in the summer, and according to the UNODC study, has a populous of marijuana consumers greater than any other country, as 18.3 percent of Iceland’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 partakes in cannabis use.
Considering that the population of Iceland is just more than 300,000 people, and is roughly the size of Ohio, that percentage represents no small demographic.
Despite Icelanders loving their weed more than any other country’s citizens, marijuana remains illegal in Iceland, and first-time offenders can be charged with a fine, while repeat offenders can face jail time. The only current exceptions to the rule are certain instances of medicinal use.
The people have of Iceland have spoken: legalize it!
The United States
The United States of America is most definitely the land of the free, and surely the home of the brave, but the U.S. is also the home of some really, really good weed. With 29 of 50 states having already legalized medical marijuana in some form, and eight states with legal recreational use laws on the books––America is truly a red, white, blue, and green place to live. According to the UNODC study, 16.3 percent of Americans partake in some form of cannabis use.
With legalization movements gaining steam in a number of states in the union, the U.S. is also making waves with regard to innovative ways of procuring and consuming marijuana. For example, weed-lovers don’t even have to get out of the car when visiting a drive-through dispensary in Colorado; another weed retailer in Massachusetts serves cannabis-infused pizza.
America, f*ck yeah!
Nigeria is another county in which marijuana remains illegal, yet its citizens can’t seem to deny their love for all things cannabis. Out of roughly 182 million Nigerians, 14.3 percent of the population is 4/20-friendly.
Though it’s technically illegal to consume weed in Nigeria, there are many regions which cultivate the plant, as the tropical climate is highly conducive to thriving cannabis plants. For a bit of history, it is believed that marijuana first entered Nigeria after World War II, when soldiers returning from North Africa and the Far East brought some cannabis seeds home in their luggage.
Despite its illegal standing, Nigerians have, of course, found ways around their country’s strict laws, via an underground weed market. There are even Netherland-style coffee shops in Nigeria, where marijuana can be bought and consumed onsite. Though even if you are caught possessing or consuming minor amounts of the plant, money talks, and Nigerian police are known to walk away, if the right bribe is offered.
According to the UNODC study, 12.7 percent of Canada’s population consumes cannabis.
Indeed, Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001, and is currently on a clear path to legalize the drug for recreational means.
Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has admitted to blazing down while acting as a sitting member of parliament, has pushed for legalization since before he was appointed. As such, Trudeau is decidedly a friend of stoners far and wide across the Great White North. And his administration’s proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for cannabis, and aims to restrict minor access to the drug, and reduce the burden on the country’s criminal justice system, while protecting public health through testing, labeling, and quality requirements.
All we can blame Canada for, these days at least, is leading the legalization movement, at national scale.
With the highest per-capita use in all of Latin America, Chile is South America’s most weed-loving country, with 11.83 percent of its 17.95 million residents saying they use cannabis. In fact, marijuana-consumption has exploded in Chile over the last decade, partially thanks to the legalization of medical marijuana in 2015, which also moved weed off the country’s list of dangerous narcotics. Private consumption and possession of small amounts have been decriminalized, allowing residents to possess up to a quarter ounce, and grow plants on their property.
In 2016 the country’s first medical marijuana club, BOCI, opened its doors, and now serves patients unable to cultivate their personal stash at home.
The Daya Foundation, a Chilean nonprofit that cultivates thousands of marijuana plants each year, on a plantation in the city of Colburn, aims to provide free or low-cost marijuana to more than 4,000 medical patients.
Chile truly knows what’s up. As it just doesn’t get much better than free, charitable weed.