French teenagers are among the biggest consumers of cannabis in Europe, smoking joints as often as they drink alcohol, an official study of thousands of students from 450 high schools released Wednesday showed.
By the age of 18, two boys in three and one of every two girls have tried the narcotic – illegal in France – the survey by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Use ( OFDT ) revealed.
“By the age of 16, regular consumption of cannabis reaches the level of regular consumption of alcohol,” the authors said.
Their questioning of 16,833 students last year showed that, by age 18, 21 percent of boys, and seven percent of girls, were smoking more than 10 joints a month.
The number of 16- and 17-year-olds using cannabis at least 10 times a year has tripled over the past decade, according to the study, which is to be incorporated into a Europe-wide report set for publication at the end of the year.
Source: Agence France-Presse Apr 2004)