Spain A third of young people would smoke more cannabis or would try it if its consumption were regulated


Spain A third of young people would smoke more cannabis or would try it if its consumption were regulated

18.3% of young people would consume more cannabis and 15.8% would try the substance if its control rules were softened or its consumption was liberalized, according to the study 'Social representation of cannabis 2022. Evolution from the differential perspective of the young population', carried out by the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth of the Fad Juventud Foundation, with the support of the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs.

According to this survey, carried out among 1,016 young people between the ages of 15 and 29, if the rules were relaxed, the majority (51.7%) believe that cannabis use would increase, in general. But when asked about the changes in their consumption if the substance is liberalized, 54.1% believe that they would not consume more, compared to 18.3% who indicated that they would and 15.8% who said that they would try it.

These percentages are different from the responses to this same survey in 2016, when 81.2% stated that, given a possible liberalization, they would not consume more, 4.9% said yes, and 6.6% said they would try it. . Therefore, it seems that young people are more predisposed to its consumption.

When asked about the problems derived from regulation, four out of 10 indicated that the problems would increase: 41.4% that there would be more problems for consumers and 42.3% that more social problems would be generated.

But there are also significant percentages among those who believe that cannabis users would have the same problems (33.9% see it that way) and that society would not see their collective problems increase (considered by 34.4% of the sample).

A majority, increasing since 2016, of young people guide their opinion towards the most benevolent positions in relation to the need to soften the current rules, although in parallel the percentage of those who bet on toughening them is also growing, which shows a clear polarization of youth opinions.

If in 2016 the percentage of young people who believed it necessary to soften these rules was 24.2%, in 2022 it rises to 33.8%. In addition, 10% in 2022 think that they should be completely abolished (15% in 2016). In contrast, those who think they should toughen up have gone from 23.1% (2016) to 27.7% (2022).

In accordance with these data, a majority of young people believe that it is necessary and convenient to face the regulation of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Spain, although the opinion regarding the regulation of recreational use is not so clear.

A majority (55.9%) believes that regulation of therapeutic use is necessary and appropriate, although almost 30% believe that it would be a mistake and 14% say they do not have an opinion.

Support for a possible regulation of recreational consumption is lower: although 35% of young people consider it necessary, the majority take the position of those who would consider it an error (45%) and the percentage of those who say they do not have an opinion is very significant. (twenty%).

According to the criteria of The Trust Project