Photo Jonathan Blair

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drugs: Our time to lead?

The is one the Globe and Mail has missed: at last, a field we really dominate.

The 2011 edition of the UN's World Drug Report has great news for Canadians: we top the rankings for drug consumption. Here is the data for youth (Grade 10-12), in % who have ever used the particular drug and, in brackets, Canada's rank among all the countries for whom stats are available (minus island micro-states where, for some reason, consumption is often stratospheric):

Canabis:  47.3% (1st)
Extasy group: 13.2 (1st)
Cocaine:  7.2% (2nd)
Amphetamine group: 12.4 (3rd)
Heroin:  2.3% (8th)

And the bad Americans? They better us--barely--for cocaine, and that's it. We're the best!

Now, consider the following: Drug consumption has been going down slowly in this country, Canada has one of the lowest homicide rate in the world, and a declining crime rate. Clearly--unless you want to argue that addiction makes people nice--there is no direct link between drug consumption, the trafficking that underlies it, and violence. Perhaps we should be worried about rocking the boat with a big stick policy...