Smoke pot? Don't lie! Look who you're talkin' to. L.A. Weekly. Yes, Cannabis Rules Everything Around Me.

Anyway, if you do partake of the wacky tobacky, consider yourself in good company. Weed is the most popular illicit drug on the planet. So says a new study published this week. According to the researchers …


… the countries with the highest illicit drug-dependence rates were, you guessed it, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and Australia.

Of course, marijuana is now fully legal in Colorado and Washington and medically legal in 20 other states, including California.

And, interestingly, although pot is the world's favorite party favor, it's “opioids and amphetamines,” including painkillers such as Oxycontin and drugs such as meth, that are most responsible for dependency and death, the study says.


The conclusion seems to say marijuana isn't even the problem here:

Illicit drug use is an important contributor to the global burden of disease. Efficient strategies to reduce disease burden of opioid dependence and injecting drug use, such as delivery of opioid substitution treatment and needle and syringe programs, are needed to reduce this burden at a population scale.

Vikram Patel of the Center for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told Associated Press that decriminalization could also be a part of the solution:

A decriminalized drug policy could potentially transform the public-health approach to drug use. The enormous savings in the criminal justice system could be used to fund addiction treatment programs.

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