Cannabis Use Increases Across The World

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According to the UN, legalization and the Pandemic have increased use globally

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has come to an unsurprising conclusion when it comes to cannabis use. Legalization and the Covid Pandemic have increased use.

According to the UN at least, this has also “raised a risk” of depression and suicide, although they also note that use among teenagers has not increased appreciably.

However, the causality between increased depression and cannabis use was not proven. In fact, cannabis users were lumped in with users of other drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy.

Trying to claim that cannabis is directly responsible for causing an increase in generalized mental illness during unprecedented global events like a Pandemic is far from helpful. The entire world shut down. People’s livelihoods, as well as their working conditions, were profoundly disrupted. So was the ability to socialize.

This, rather than drug use of any kind is more likely to lead to depression than cannabis use. Indeed, it is also becoming clearer that cannabis use can actually help alleviate both depression and severe trauma.

However, this approach is an unfortunate and telling sign of where the bias about cannabis use lies at the international agency.

A Global Schedule I?

It is precisely this kind of prejudice that still confronts the entire discussion of cannabis reform. It is also why the discussion about moving cannabis from a Schedule I substance on a global basis is so critical. That said, it is also clear that this will not happen at an international level but rather at a sovereign and regional one.

This is also why the current discussion discussions in Germany right now about how to proceed given international treaties are so critical to further international progress. Some people are claiming that Germany cannot proceed with recreational sales because of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. However, this is profoundly circular logic. Indeed, at the last UN meeting on the topic, the discussion was to leave reform up to individual countries.

The reality is that cannabis is not a drug like cocaine or heroin. It is overdue that both national and international policy reflected this.

Sadly, until it does, the UN will continue to produce these kinds of reports.

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