Is cannabis more popular than tobacco in New Zealand?

Hi there

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Today we are looking at whether cannabis is more popular than tobacco in New Zealand. We are going to do this by looking at the results from the 2014 global Drug Survey, an online survey which anyone could take. Roughly 80,000 people completed the 2014 survey from over 40 countries, from a quick look at their website I could not see how many of these were New Zealanders. While in all likelihood this a statistically insignificant survey which suffers a fair bit of selection bias, the results are nonetheless interesting.

The results* report that 71.2% of New Zealanders surveyed , at least once in their lifetimes, have used cannabis, and 35.3 per cent have used it in the past year. This is higher than tobacco, which 68.8% of surveyed New Zealanders, at least once in their lifetimes, have used tobacco, and 33.5 per cent have used it in the past year.

So while there are some flaws to the survey it is interesting to see that it would appear that cannabis is more widely used in New Zealand than tobacco. These results give no indication to the amount of each used by individuals which could paint a different picture.

Also, here is an interesting podcast about the legal cannabis business in the USA from the team at Planet Money that I recommend.

Marty

*sorry for linking to Stuff, I am not a fan of their journalism but in this case they have a fairly good infographic reporting the results.

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