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Monday 25.09.2017 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Interior Ministry: use of marijuana has become a norm among youngsters in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUChanges in habits related to the use of narcotics allow for the conclusion that smoking marijuana has not only become acceptable among youngsters, but has also contributed to the belief among them that smoking marijuana is no worse than smoking cigarettes or excessive drinking, as concluded by Latvian Interior Ministry.

This week, the government listened to the ministry’s report on the introduction of measures to limit the use of narcotics and their distribution from 2011 to 2013.

It is mentioned in the report that indexes of trying narcotics for the firs time and more recent habitual use of illegal substances has reduced slightly among all residents and within specific groups. For example, results of different surveys carried out throughout 2007-2013 show that use of narcotics has declined among both Latvia’s total population and among all of Latvia’s schoolchildren.

A rapid increase in rates in recent use of narcotics among attendants of different entertainment venues can be explained with the popularity of marijuana. For example, rates of recent use of marijuana had increased from 24% in 2008 to 41% in 2012. At the same time, Interior Ministry notes that the number of attendants of entertainment venues who had used substances other than marijuana in recent times has reduced in comparison with 2008.

The decrease in narcotics use rates among Latvian residents can be explained with the spread of new psychoactive substances, especially among youngsters. In 2013, the so-called Spice group substances had been more popular than marijuana.

It is worth mentioning, however, that not a single new trade location that deals in Spice trade has been found by Latvian State Police since the adoption of criminal liability in 2014. Prior to amendments to the Criminal Law, there had been at least 50 trade locations dealing in Spice.

The spread of new psychoactive substances most likely had an impact on the segment of ‘traditional’ illegal drugs.

Interior Ministry has concluded that marijuana is popular not only in Latvia, but other countries as well. Changes in habits of use of marijuana allow for the conclusion that its use among youngsters has become a norm. This is likely related to the establishment of a belief among them that smoking marijuana is no worse than smoking cigarettes or excessive drinking. Use of marijuana is no longer done in secret, because youngsters believe in the stereptype that marijuana is legal in multiple countries of the world.

Considering the rise in the popularity of marijuana and hashish among youngsters and schoolchildren, the matter of adopting a national addiction prevention system has become even more topical, Interior Ministry believes.

The ministry adds that the use of Internet has made narcotics more easily obtainable for residents. Both Latvian law enforcement authorities and European experts note the role of Internet in the increasing spread of narcotics.

In addition to the aforementioned facts, there are also different guides into production methods of different drugs that can be found on the internet and the simplicity of obtaining the necessary equipment for their production.

Latvian Interior Ministry plans to continue the realization of different preventive measures in order to limit the spread of narcotics.

Experts have concluded that no real progress has been made in the reduction of spread of contagious diseases among drug abusers. This is why authorities plan to find constructive solutions in order to tackle this problem effectively.

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