Iceland Smokes More Weed (Per Capita) Than Any Country in the World | Marijuana

Iceland Smokes More Weed (Per Capita) Than Any Country in the World


The World Drug Report’s latest analysis of cannabis consumption provides an unexpected revelation: the United States ranks fourth in per person marijuana consumption behind Nigeria, Zambia and, at the top of the list: Iceland!

Yes, Iceland takes the cake as the nation with the highest proportion of pot smokers . This low key Nordic nation, known mostly for its scenic, Narnia-like landscapes and as  the most contented populations on the planet (now we know why), has also been quietly getting heavily medicated for the last 30 some years.

In Iceland, beer was actually illegal until 1989 which may explain why 18.3% of its population smokes cannabis. That means in Iceland, approximately 55,000 out of of 320,000 people smoke weed.

Comparatively, the United States checks in at 15%, the stereotypical stoner nation of Jamaica’s comes in at a low 10%, while Ukraine brings up the rear with a low usage rate of 4.755%. you may begin to appreciate what a large swath of the Icelandic population is lighting up.

Here’s the full breakdown of cannabis consumption by percentage of citizens that consume:


Oddly enough, the Netherlands and Uruguay–nation’s with forms of legal cannabis–reside at the middle of this pack, proving that the correlation between legalization and increased consumption is pure myth. In fact, aside from Iceland’s surprising pole posiiton, this chart shows that when it comes to weed, all bets are off: every country consumes it.

And while there’s no clearcut explanation as to why such a high percentage of Icelandic people smoke weed–or how accurate this data set is–it’s probably related to the nation’s low crime rates and status as the happiest place in the world.

Because like many other European countries, Iceland is tolerant towards marijuana but has yet to legalize the plant. Possession, public smoking and other harmless acts are punishable by fines. Only dealers and repeat offenders are punished with jail time.

The country’s relative isolation makes bud wildly expensive by our standards here in the states. An1/8 of Iceland’s good stuff can go for as much as $175, even their low grade options, locally referred to as “Marri”, would break most American’s bank.

While Iceland’s President has expressed interest in the benefits of legalization, a shift has yet to become a serious point of discussion. Given the nation’s predilection towards pot, hopefully activists in Iceland show the nation’s leaders what legalization has done for Colorado–and how it could benefit Iceland’s economy.

The biggest, unanswered question: where–and how–does Iceland either grow cannabis or receive its bud from?


About Author

Los Angeles born, Chicago bred and living in New York City, marijuana has been near and dear to Jay's heart for as long as he can remember. In the past Jay has worked with Heeb Magazine, The Second City Chicago and as a line cook in one of Martha's Vineyard's finest farm-to-table restaurants.


  1. Countries like Japan are pointed at as an example of prohibition working but Japan has a very high rate of amphetamine consumption.
    Countries with a strong work ethic have low rates of herb use and high rates of speed use.

  2. This is not very accurate, the nation if only about 370 thousand persons, but we are visited by more than 1 million tourist every year, and that number is growing. These visitors are also responsible for the large amount approximated smoked in Iceland. 🙂

  3. It is a fu king vodka culture like Russia. The drinkers are frustrated people wanting to forbid cannabis except those that might have friends smoking or those who actually can smoke themselves maybe when they havce a hancover.

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