Word that the Department of Justice will allow states to decide on marijuana legalization has made the US a better place than ever to be a stoner. But a few other countries still toke more green than we do. Below are the world’s highest countries, but before we get there here’s a brief note on why certain countries have been excluded: researchers investigating Palau and some of the other tiny island nations purported to have the highest percentages of regular smokers used small and narrow samples sizes that don’t really hold up to scrutiny. With that in mind, and with the fierce passion for absolute scientific rigor that burns deep within the heart of every HT reader in mind, we have excluded Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands from the list. To our many readers from those proud nations, I extend my deepest apologies and ask furthermore that you send along some proof of your absolute highness.
1. New Zealand
New Zealand seems like a pretty laid-back place. Smaller and -- let’s be honest here -- at least a little bit more beautiful than Australia, the island nation boasts a robust 14.6% smokers among its 4.4 million citizens according to the UNODC’s World Drug Report. The website is user friendly, by the way, allowing anyone interested to check out a treasure trove of cool stats about any and every country’s drug use. Just click on “data” and go at it.
Italy actually ties with New Zealand for first place. At a cool 14.6%, Italy has the weed to go along with its high art. In all seriousness, where can I sign up for a marijuana-art tour of the peninsula? The Roman Coliseum was built to make plebes say "woah."
About 14.3% of Nigerians smoke pot regularly. Who knew? Probably whoever grows this strain.
In 4th place. Damn. Is that considered a win for the War on Drugs? Anything below first place? We can console ourselves with the fact that 48% of Americans have smoked at one point or another. And with legalization seemingly just around the bend, we’ll have a good shot at claiming the coveted number one position in the coming years.
Plenty of people seem to think that Canada is the stoniest country on Earth. While the land of maple leaves and frozen tundra is pretty high on the list, it’s definitely not number one. But Canada has a way hipper statistic backing its pot smoking cred: Canada’s unruly, syrup-drenched youth are the highest kids in all the land.
6. Special Mention: North Korea
For reasons that should be obvious, the UN doesn’t have statistics about marijuana consumption in No. Kor. We do know, however, that weed is totally legal. As Russ Belville mentioned in a comment on this thing I wrote -- yeah, brah, I saw it -- weed literally just grows on street corners in North Korea. And everyone smokes it. Whereas South Koreans can get seriously fucked for smoking weed even if they’re not in the country when they smoke it. It’s a weird weed world.