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The Top 11 Pot-Smoking Countries in Europe

Maureen Meehan

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jar of bud

Planning a trip to Europe this summer and want to know where you’ll find the most kindred spirits?

Europeans are quite progressive on lots of social issues that give Americans pause, and pot is no different. When asked, people are not generally embarrassed or paranoid to tell pollsters how much they love their pot.

According to the 2016 Annual Drug Report, pot comes up as the most commonly-used illicit substance in Europe.

Published by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), weed accounts for the largest share (38 percent) of Europe’s drug market. The report also found that herb and resin potency levels are “historically high.”

Where is cannabis being smoked the most? Check out this handy guide. According to this year’s EMCDDA report, these are the percentages of residents in each country, between the ages of 15 to 64, who consume cannabis and how each country tolerates the herb:

1. France: 40.9 percent
Small quantities of pot are rarely prosecuted, as long as you can prove you have no links to production or trafficking.

2. Denmark: 35.6 percent
Police are relaxed and mostly concentrate on traffickers.

3. Italy: 31.9 percent
Marijuana is illegal, but personal consumption is tolerated almost everywhere.

4. Spain: 30.4 percent
Possession, cultivation and consumption are tolerated widely.

5. United Kingdom: 29.2 percent
Cannabis is not legal, but it’s classified with the lowest penalty; Just don’t flaunt it.

6. Czech Republic: 28.7 percent
Lenient possession laws mean little attention is paid to individual smokers.

7. Ireland: 25.3 percent
Pot is illegal, although it was recently removed from all other scheduled drugs; however, a three-strike law is still in effect.

8. The Netherlands: 24.1 percent
Cannabis is legal.

9. Germany: 23.1 percent
Possession is okay for personal use only but still limited to 15 grams.

10. Norway: 21.9 percent
Cannabis is illegal, so definitely keep a low profile.

11. Finland: 21.7 percent
Smoke, but be careful in public.

Why isn’t the Netherlands on the top of the list, you might ask? Even with its nearly 600 coffee shops and pot freely available to anyone, weed smoking in the country is lower than the European average of 24.8 percent.

And France being in the number one spot? Just goes to show that anti-pot policies don’t necessarily lead to less pot use. Sound familiar?

(Photo by Lochfoot)

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