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?