The Finnish Institute for Health and Well-being published the results of the survey, which involved 4,600 ninth-graders aged 15 to 16 years. Researchers found that the number of cannabis consumers among adolescents doubled.
Teenagers prefer marijuana over alcohol
In the 1990s, only 5% of adolescents used cannabis. Now, this figure has grown to 10%. According to schoolchildren, they began to smoke marijuana more often, because it does not harm the body, and it is easy to buy. 16% of young men surveyed believe that regular consumption of hemp does not lead to negative health consequences. In general, smoking marijuana prevails among young people aged 18 to 35 years: 25% of Finns in this category consume cannabinoids.
Against the background of the growing popularity of hemp, there is a decrease in the volume of alcohol consumption. Until 2000, about half of ninth-graders regularly drank alcohol. 30% of modern adolescents have never tried alcohol, 40% of those surveyed last drank at least a year ago. Experts believe that this trend is due to the tightening of the rules governing the trade in alcohol.
Researchers have recorded a significant drop in tobacco interest among teenagers. In 1995, 25% of ninth-graders regularly smoked cigarettes, now this figure is 7%. This was due to higher tobacco prices and increased control over cigarette trafficking. Nevertheless, many teenagers switched to snus. Now it is consumed by 35% of boys and 19% of girls.
Many Finnish lawmakers support cannabis decriminalization
At the end of October, the cannabis decriminalization petition gained the required number of votes and was considered by the Finnish Parliament. The authors of the document propose abolishing the punishment for storing marijuana weighing up to 25 grams, growing up to four bushes of cannabis, drying one plant and consuming cannabinoids. Several lawmakers expressed their views on the initiative.
Veronika Honkasalo said that the war against drugs not only did not solve the existing problems but led to the emergence of new ones. She believes that criminal or administrative prosecution of drug users does not make sense and does not bring a positive result.
Iris Suomela claims that repressive policies increase the level of criminogenic conditions and worsen the health of citizens. Due to the punitive system, drug addicts are afraid to seek help. Pia Vitanen opposed the petition because decriminalization, she said, would increase the consumption of cannabis.