The Netherlands, with its permissive marijuana laws, may be known as the cannabis capital of the world. But a survey published this month in PLoS Medicine, a journal of the Public Library of Science, suggests that the Dutch don’t actually experiment with pot as much as one would expect. Despite tougher drug policies in the U.S., Americans were twice as likely to have tried marijuana than the Dutch, according to the survey. In fact, Americans were more likely to have tried marijuana or cocaine than people in any of the 16 other countries, including France, Spain, South Africa, Mexico and Colombia, that the survey covered.
Possible explanations offered include affluence, perceived risk, and baby boomer culture.
The ONDCP complains that statistics on lifetime use are no way to judge the effectiveness of drug policy (hahaha). He probably has a point, but would past year or past month numbers really look a lot better?