Health: The world's biggest weed smokers

Photo / Getty
Photo / Getty

Australians and New Zealanders are the biggest weed smokers in the world, according to new research on illicit drug use.

Part of a global research series examining drug use and law enforcement worldwide, it was found up to 15 per cent of New Zealanders and Australians aged between 15 and 64 use cannabis. 2.8 per cent of this age group use drugs such as speed and crystal meth.

Data from 2009 showed drug use in Oceania rated between 10 and 15 per cent, well above that of people in Asian countries where 1.2 to 2.5 per cent of the population were reportedly using cannabis.

In the same period, between 2 and 2.8 per cent of New Zealanders and Australians used amphetamines, compared to 0.2 to 1.4 per cent of people in Africa and Asia.

The research also concludes that drug use in a high income country like Australia leads to approximately two per cent of years lost through disability.

This is compared to 2.3 per cent for alcohol and 7.8 per cent for tobacco.

Conducted by the University of New South Wale's National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the findings have been printed in leading medical journal, The Lancet.

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