The question of who smokes more weed is one that at first sight could seem easy to answer, but the truth is that in reality, it isn’t that easy.
Considering that cannabis is still illegal in a major part of the globe, getting figures that represent each country’s percentage of use isn’t quite straightforward. Besides, some users might not even acknowledge the fact that they use cannabis due to the fear of confronting the law.
At the same time, from the data that we do have available, more than half is already outdated.
For example, a specialized area of the United Nations called World Drug Reports, WDR, which is normally the one to analyze general drug consumption around the globe, has not updated the information on the use of marijuana since the year 2011. Almost ten years have gone by now, and we’re certain that things have changed ever since, considering several countries have approved the legalization of cannabis in their territory.
For instance, in a report that the WDR released in 2006, the percentage of Uruguay’s cannabis use marked 6%. But this Latin American Country has fully legalized the use of marijuana in 2014, so the number must be well outdated.
The same goes for countries such as Canada and the United States, the latest studies were sought in 2014, but ever since the legal status of cannabis in these countries has completely flipped.
Another important aspect to consider is what should be defined as ‘marijuana use’, is it just taking into account people who engage in daily use, or more like a monthly or annual use?
So, okay we know the complications, but we actually want to know which country consumes the most marijuana. Well, we would have expected a country such as Spain, home to big cannabis seeds companies such as Fast Buds, to be high up on the list. Or perhaps Holland, which attracts millions of tourists each year due to its famous coffee shops and legal use of marijuana. However, this isn’t the case, the actual winner of the ‘who smokes more weed’ contest is the African country of Nigeria! Yes, this country that doesn’t even resemble the legal statuses of countries such as Canada or Uruguay has registered the highest cannabis consumption per capita in the world.
Nigeria makes the most populous nation in Africa, with an estimate of 200 million inhabitants who seem to be infatuated with the use of weed. The World Drug Report analyzed the use of marijuana in Nigeria back in 2011, where numbers reached 14.6%. However, ten years later, these numbers show a pronounced increase. The latest report available on Africa’s most populated country implied that Nigeria was the country with the highest rates of cannabis use with 19.4% of Nigerians using the plant, starting at teenagers who are 15 years old. This 19.4% represents over 20 million people, of which 12% indicated that they consume it every month. At the same time, the report indicated that in Africa the demand for weed weighs up to $37 billion, of which Nigeria is responsible for $15.3 billion. One reason why Nigeria’s use of cannabis reaches such high rates is due to the big amount of weed farmers in the country, who opt for the cultivation of marijuana since it profits more than other major crops such as cocoa, apart from growing at a faster speed. However, cultivation isn’t yet fully legal in the country, but the economic need demands many farmers to engage in the growth of marijuana. The states that grow the most cannabis in Nigeria include Edo, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo.
So, how come Nigeria, a country where cannabis isn’t even legal for any type of use, where you can’t even get caught with possession of the substance, and where cultivation is penalized be the country that consumes the most marijuana in the world? Well, this is just personal theories, but in life, usually when we aren’t allowed to do something, the more we will want to do that thing. It’s the classic ‘want what we can’t have’ attitude. At the same time, those places in which cannabis has been legalized have a more relaxed posture on the subject. Just because it is legal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to engage in the consumption of the substance.
Another influential aspect that could explain the high rates of cannabis use in Nigeria could be linked to the culture and their lifestyle. Being a country that is full of joy and music, where people are more smiley and cheerful, it just matches the profile of a cannabis user. The European population tends to be a little stiffer than Africa’s, and while some countries may have legalized the consumption of cannabis, this doesn’t imply that the people will actually use it, it’s just they have the legal right to do it when they please.