Australia and New Zealand were the highest users of cannabis in the world according to a study in the Lancet medical journal.
Up to 15 per cent of 15 to 64 year olds had used cannabis at least once in the past year.
High income countries like Australia report high usage of illicit drugs like cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and opioids.
The Lancet study found that more than 200 million people used illicit drugs globally.
Police admit cannabis use is high as is cannabis cultivation and trafficking with funds going to organized criminals.
(Source: The Lancet 7 January 2012 reported in the Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper)
Australians are exposed to easily available illicit drugs so the demand and the number of users are high by world standards.
Easy availability of illicit drugs and low price encourage the high usage of all illicit drugs.
Reducing the number of illicit drug users by diversion into rehabilitation will improve the health of young Australians and will also limit cultivation and trafficking.
All identified drug users should be diverted into court ordered and supervised detoxification and rehabilitation to get the users free of drug use quickly and permanently.
Australia needs to apply diversion into rehabilitation policies for illicit drug use as it is proven world’s best practice to reduce drug use.