New UNICEF Report Indicates that Decriminalizing Marijuana Reduces Youth Usage Rates
The United Nations Children’s Fund has released its annual report on child well-being. “Report Card 11“, a comprehensive paper that details the specifics of child welfare, examines things from drug use to how many eat breakfast regularly, studying these topics across the globe. One of the topics studied is cannabis use among those aged 11-15.
The study found, quite conclucisively, that Canada has more cannabis consumers in that age range than any other developed country in the world, at 28%. Five other countries had rates above 20% – France, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the United States.
Among these countries, the study found that the Netherlands – with one of the most liberal marijuana policies in the world – was ranked #1 in child well-being. In the Netherlands, usage rates among youth is at 17%, significantly lower than the U.S. and Canada, both of which have much stricter cannabis policies.
In addition, the study found that Portugal, which has decriminalized marijuana, had one of the lowest rates of youth using marijuana in the world, at just 10%, which is much lower than the rate it was before marijuana was decriminalized.
All of these numbers, at the very least, indicate that a nation’s war on marijuana does absolutely nothing to decrease usage rates among an age-group that most opponents to legalization are most worried about.