The EMCDDA have just published some data about adults who are using cannabis on a daily, or almost daily, basis.
They say that on average 1% of Europeans are smoking cannabis on a daily basis, and amongst younger adults that rises to 1.9%.
But as you can see from the graph this average conceals quite big differences between countries.
What is positive, from our perspective, is that – for this drug at least – the UK is well below the European average.
Nevertheless, as you’ll appreciate small percentages can equal quite large numbers of people. So 0.6 of the UK population is still over 30,000 people who are putting their health and well-being at risk in this way.
As the EMCDDA paper records, the research suggests that use of cannabis at this level is associated with:
other illicit drug use; alcohol and tobacco use; driving and involvement in motor vehicle accidents after using cannabis; and impairments in cognitive, memory and learning performance. Frequent cannabis use has been found to predict some mental health disorders, including the development of psychotic symptoms, and has been associated with depressive and manic symptoms and suicides (Fischer et al., 2011).
Studies also show that daily cannabis users, perhaps unsurprisingly, are at higher risk of developing dependence symptoms than less frequent users.