Belize Ranks 18/30 for Global Marijuana Consumption

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Updated: December 1, 2016

In a report produced by the Adam Smith Institute of the United Kingdom Belize was listed as one of the top thirty countries from around the world that consume marijuana.  Belize made it at number eighteen with a reported eight point four-five percent of its population using the drug. Iceland ranked at number one with sixteen point two percent of its population while Sierra Leone ranked last with only five point four-two percent of its population using marijuana.  The report is a 60-page document that has urged the United Kingdom to legalize the drug citing it as the only solution to crime and addition problems.  The report is dubbed, The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing Its Mind on Cannabis and continues by stating that legislation of marijuana would reduce organized crime, improve the quality and therefore the safety of cannabis whilst aiding the economy of a country.  Belize’s Government had formed a committee to assess the pros and cons of marijuana and to recommend whether the drug should be decriminalized or legalized.  That committee has submitted its report to Cabinet and it is yet to be decided on how Belize will move on the issue.  Globally, there has been a number of countries that have legalized the use of cannabis over the years.  In 2001, according to the report, quote, “Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and within a decade substance abuse was reported to have halved – though that’s not to say the drop-off in drug taking was directly down to the policy.  Uruguay has adopted a similar approach – it legalized marijuana in 2013 – while California, Massachusetts and Nevada recently became the latest US states to vote for the legalization of the drug. Though cannabis is not actually legal in the Netherlands, it can be widely consumed in the country’s infamous coffee shops. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) data suggests that cannabis is used by 18.3 per cent of Iceland’s population (aged 15-64). The US (16.2 per cent) and Nigeria (14.3 per cent) had the second and third highest rates of consumption; the UK came 26th on the list, followed by Ireland with the Netherlands ranking at number 20.”  End of quote.  The report did note that data is not available for all of the world’s countries – and some figures have been updated more recently than others – meaning caution should be exercised when drawing comparisons.