The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (or UNODC) has released its 2017 World Drug Report, which examines worldwide drug statistics from 2015. Their findings indicate that cannabis is the most consumed and most cultivated drug on Earth. And despite the fact that the UN cannot link a single death to cannabis overdose, it is still the most confiscated drug by law enforcement agencies.
The total of zero cannabis deaths discovered by the UN in 2015 remains unchanged from the 2014 figure.
An estimated 183 million people, or 3.8% of the worldwide adult population, used cannabis in 2015. The second-most used drugs surveyed by the UN were opioids, at .88% of the population. Use of opiates, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy were also examined in the report.
Additionally, 39% of individuals in drug rehabilitation programs report being there for cannabis use.
The UNODC tracked reports of cannabis cultivation from 2010 to 2015, in 168 countries. Of these countries, 49 reported the cultivation of opium poppy, the source of heroin. 8 countries reported the cultivation of the coca bush, which is used in the manufacture of cocaine. Cannabis seizures were reported in almost all of the countries-164 of them.
On a global scale, the UNODC reports an estimated 190,900 drug-related deaths worldwide in 2015. This number is believed to be an under-estimation, as opioid-related deaths have tripled between 1999 and 2015, with an 11.4% increase in that year alone. North America accounts for one quarter of drug-related deaths worldwide.
However, the organization has no statistics for deaths caused by cannabis. The UNODC is aware that cannabis played a part in 16% of emergency room visits, but no deaths caused by the plant have been reported. Though there is no incidence of death caused by cannabis use, the UN does offer statistics for “healthy years of life lost” due to drug use, with cannabis having the smallest impact on these years of life lost.
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