Having watched with fascination at the sliding scale of morality applied to recreational substances in recent years, I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised with record recreational drug use. From a point of governance, I’ve long characterized myself as generally libertarian this side of legalizing everything. What I mean by that is that simply having widespread access to certain products will lead to increased adaptation. Just ask smokers you know how many were just trying it out at first. Not really intending to make a habit out of it. Same for those addicted to cocaine, crack, meth, opioids, etc.
Now place yourself in our current society full of contradictions on policy. San Francisco is a prime example. They just banned vaping in the city. So, in San Fran, you can lawfully smoke pot but you can’t vape. Again, we’ve literally enacted policy that encourages greater recreational use of just about everything for those who’re willing to open the door to the opportunities. On that note, the UN’s annual report on recreational drug use is out and shows record percentages of adults using recreational drugs.
Nearly a third of all adults use at least one recreational drug regularly. Marijuana is most common with 18% of adults now using it, followed by opioids, amphetamines, prescription abuse, cocaine, and ecstasy. What’s more, is that recreational use is exploding as a percentage of adults using in recent years. Just five years ago 26% of adults were users, that 7% jump in recreational use represents 27% more people using recreational substances.
Just a few years ago I predicted that we would likely soon see more people who smoke marijuana than smoke traditional cigarettes. We’re already there. The question is how much more pervasive this will become in our society and what the longer-term implications might be. We won’t know until we get there. I’m just hoping society doesn’t end up looking like the streets of San Fran by the time this settles out.
Photo by: Getty Images Europe