Cannabis Use on the Rise Due to Lockdowns and Legalization
According to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the legalization and COVID lockdowns appear to have promoted cannabis usage.
As their study reports, the proportion of teenagers using cannabis has remained relatively stable. However, there has been a significant rise in the number of high-potency products used by young people.
Increased cannabis use is also putting a strain on health care systems. In fact, UNODC’s report suggests that 30% of drug treatments in the EU are associated with the drugs of this class.
Furthermore, the UNODC claims that the enhanced potency of hashish and marijuana products, as well as regular usage, have increased cases of mental illnesses in Western Europe.
To be more precise, out of about 284 million individuals that used a narcotic like cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy in 2020, 209 million were also cannabis users.
The situation is similar in Africa and some Latin American countries, where the majority of therapies are related to cannabis addiction.
The UNODC report also stated that the conflict in Ukraine might lead to an increase in illicit drug production. Namely, the number of amphetamine laboratories seized in Ukraine increased from 17 to 79 between 2019 and 2020, making Ukraine the country with the most dismantled labs in 2020.