Friday

21st Jul 2017

Marijuana should stay illegal, young Europeans say

  • Cannabis should stay illegal, most young Europeans have told a Eurobarometer survey (Photo: "it was 3 a.m.")

A narrow majority of Europe’s youth would ban cannabis, according to new research published by Eurobarometer.

Opinion was divided on whether cannabis should be banned. Forty five percent believed that it should be regulated, while 53 percent felt it should be banned. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of respondents added that hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy should be illegal.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Eurobarometer interviewed more than 13,000 15-24 year olds across the bloc in June for the survey, which was released on Thursday (21 August). It focused on levels of drug use, perceived risk of certain substances, as well as opinions on regulating drugs and dealing with drug problems in society.

Although a majority called for tougher action against drug dealers and traffickers, they were divided on whether drug users should be punished or receive more medical treatment.

One in three stated that treatment and rehabilitation should be offered to users, while one in four called for tougher sanctions including jail-terms.

Possession and distribution of cannabis and other drugs is illegal across the EU, although most national authorities turn a blind eye toward possession and personal use of small amounts.

More than two thirds of young Europeans surveyed claimed never to have smoked cannabis. Just 31 percent of respondents admitted to having used the drug, while less than one in five said they had used cannabis in the past year.

Youngsters in France, the Czech Republic and Ireland appear to be Europe’s most likely marijuana smokers – more than 40 percent of respondents in all three countries had used cannabis, while one in six in Ireland said they had smoked it in the past month.

For their part, fewer than one in 10 Maltese, Romanian, and Cypriots said they had tried cannabis.

Meanwhile, the use of so-called legal highs – new substances which imitate the effects of illicit drugs - hit 8 percent, up from 5 percent in a similar survey conducted in 2011. Twenty two percent of respondents in Ireland said they had tried new ‘legal highs’.

The EU has little competence over drug policy, with national governments solely responsible for how they classify substances.

However, the European Commission has taken aim at legal highs, tabling plans last September aimed at making it easier to detect and ban the new drugs.

The legislation, which will need the approval of MEPs and governments, seeks to cut the time needed to ban a substance under current procedures from two years to 10 months. Seventy three new substances were identified by EU governments in 2012, up from 24 in 2009.

Three in 10 people surveyed said that they had not received any information about legal highs over the past 12 months.

Data collected by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction suggests that drug-taking and alcohol abuse starts during school years.

The Centre estimates that one in five 15-16 year olds have used drugs, with lower rates in Europe’s south-eastern and Nordic countries.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary