Marijuana Map

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

As marijuana becomes increasingly legal across America, the stigma against its use is dropping.

But in many other countries around the world, marijuana still hasn’t caught on.

The marijuana map above, based on 2011 United Nations figures, reveals just how much the drug has become widespread in nearly every country worldwide.

Specifically, the map reports the annual prevalence of cannabis use by country. Annual prevalence refers to the percentage of the population who have consumed cannabis at least once in the year surveyed.

Countries like Singapore, where the punishment for merely smoking marijuana could be jail time, the rate is among the the lowest on the map.

Many countries in Southeast Asia have strict anti-drug laws: In Indonesia, there is a minimum four-year sentence for anyone caught in possession of marijuana, while in Malaysia, drug trafficking is punishable by death.

In the United States, where marijuana is only legal in four states, only 13.7% of the population use cannabis annually.

But there are some surprises on the map, too.

The Northern Mariana Islands and Papa New Guinea have two of the highest percentages on the map, with 22.2% and 29.5% respectively.

However, marijuana is illegal in Papa New Guinea — but the island is one of the world’s biggest producers of the drug.

And the Netherlands, where marijuana cafes are an infamous tourist attraction, only comes in at 5.4%, compared to Italy’s 14.6%.

In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to completely legalize marijuana, a resolution they called the “great experiment.”

It seems as though South America is the place to go for the most relaxed marijuana laws.

In Chile, marijuana for personal use has been in legal since 2015, and in Colombia, the government recently decriminalized growing up to 20 plants for medical or personal use.

Turns out, the United States really isn’t leading the charge against global acceptance of marijuana use.

Next, read more about the state of America’s marijuana business. Then, find out why the war on drugs failed.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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