Survey: Majority of Finland Supports Cannabis Decriminalization

April 14, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

Scenic summer panorama of the Market Square (Kauppatori) at the Old Town pier in Helsinki, Finland

A survey by Finland’s Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) found 53% of respondents said cannabis use and possession should not be a crime, YLE News reports. Another 24% said cannabis should be legal for any use and 56% said cannabis should be legal for medical use. In 2018, those figures were 18% and 54%, respectively.

Additionally, the survey found 29% of Fins would support decriminalization of all drugs – a 9% increase from the previous survey in 2018. The survey found the same percentage of Fins had tried cannabis – a five-fold increase from the 6% of Fins who said they’d tried cannabis in 1992.

Another 57% of respondents said they thought trying cannabis once or twice carries minor health or other risks, while 20% said the same about other drugs. Karoliina Karjalainen, THL specialist researcher, told YLE News that the increase in drug use among Fins was expected.

Pekka Hakkarainen, THL research professor, added that “Opinions about the criminality surrounding drug use are clearly changing.”

The survey also found increased support for monitored drug use facilities as a way to prevent drug overdoses, with 65% of respondents favoring the plan – an increase of 15% from the 2018 survey.

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