Health Team

Marijuana use around the world: Where is it most popular?

Posted April 20, 2016
Updated June 12


Marijuana legalization has been a political issue in the United States for some time, and while it remains illegal in most states, others have softened their stance in recent years.

Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives by popular vote to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in 2012. In 2014, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit. Many states including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Ohio have flirted with legalization for a few election cycles, with buzz growing.

The United States isn't the only country where people use marijuana legally or illicitly. In fact, it isn’t even the country with the highest reported marijuana use.

To determine the countries with the highest marijuana use, HealthGrove used data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which covers reported use of cannabis for each country in the last year. Although we included the most recent data available, the year collected varies by country. We've ranked the list from least to most reported usage, and provide legality information for each country.

Note: We excluded territories, focusing on formal countries and countrywide cannabis legality.

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  • Barry Smith Apr 20, 2016
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    That would depend on "who is getting the money". Illegal= for profit prisons full and money flowing upstream to politicians and major stake holders, corrupt judges etc etc, as well as large sums of money to local police forces through seized property etc. Legal= Increase in overall state tax revenue that goes into state budgets that voters at least have some control over via the ballot box.

    As far as a flat $ figure, based off of Colorado #'s, legal= MUCH more revenue generated, but less at to the top, and corporate masters.

  • Doug Smallen Apr 20, 2016
    user avatar

    Does The War on Drugs make more from Pot than legalizing it?