By Roland Sebestyén
A new report suggests that while cannabis use is continuing on an upward trend, cocaine use has also risen significantly in the last year.
According to Germany’s latest annual drug report, more people are consuming cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy. Cannabis is continuing to dominate the illicit drug market, and the drug trafficking of cocaine rose by almost 10% on the previous year.
Moreover, cannabis use among young adults (aged 18 to 25) rose by almost nine percentage points, up from 15.3% to 24.1%, and Cocaine usage has also become more popular, rising among young adults from 1.2% to 2.9%.
It’s not a coincidence that Germany’s drugs commissioner, Daniela Ludwig, appealed for more support for addiction aid programmes, following extreme pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.
Daniela Ludwig said: “The pandemic was an extreme stress test for the addiction care system.
“Personal contact with therapists and counselling centres broke down almost entirely. We acted quickly and efficiently to prevent a collapse.
“We must prevent Germany from becoming a hub for international drug trafficking.”
The authors of the study claim that the data they were using was gathered pre-pandemic, so this year’s survey will give a more accurate answer as to how much the coronavirus crisis has impacted the public’s drug consumption.
Ms Ludwing has made several news appearances recently with the decriminalisation of cannabis possession and personal consumption being topics of conversation.
As Canex reported via DW, the Drugs Commissioner recently put forward a proposal that would mean – up to a maximum of six grams – the possession of the drug would be not considered a crime.
However, she has also stated that setting the limit should be done “carefully” as cannabis policy can “influence on consumer behaviour.”
A few weeks ago, she said: “Deploying the full force of the law against somebody caught for the first time in possession of cannabis is counterproductive.
“Portugal’s policy of decriminalisation, that is moving away from the application of criminal law and towards understanding that what we are seeing are petty offences.
“A real alternative if coupled with binding counselling options.”