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France has highest (number of) teen cannabis smokers

A global survey of pot smokers reveals that France has the highest number of teen pot smokers among 42 developed countries. Surprised?

France has highest (number of) teen cannabis smokers
French teens are highest pot smokers in the world. Photo: aFP

France and Canada have the highest percentage of 15-year-old pot smokers among 42 well-off nations surveyed by the World
Health Organization, the UN agency said in a report Tuesday.

When it comes to policing marijuana, France is far from the most laid-back country in Europe, so the findings come as something of a surprise.

Amsterdam flaunts its cannabis cafes and Barcelona its private reefer clubs, but neither the Netherlands nor Spain were among the top eight nations in which teens admitted they had used cannabis in the last 30 days, according to the study, based on data from 2014.

Fifteen percent of 15-year-olds in France — slightly more boys than girls — said they had indulged, with Canada's young stoners close behind.

Italy, Switzerland and Bulgaria rounded out the top five, with French-speaking parts of Belgium as well as Poland and Slovenia in low double digits for boys, and single digits for girls.

“Young people in their teenage years are more likely to use cannabis if they have friends or older siblings who do so,” the study found.

Lax parenting or its opposite — “coercive discipline” — also correlated with higher rates of marijuana consumption.

Conducted every four years, the WHO survey examines risky behaviour and self-perception among 11-, 13- and 15-year olds in Europe, North America and Israel.

In the most recent survey, France dislodged Canada as No. 1 nation for teen tokers, moving up from fourth place.

The United States ranked second in the 2010 survey but was not included in the most recent edition.

Among the countries with the fewest adolescent users was Sweden, with only two percent of 15-year-olds saying they had gotten high on ganja in the last month.

“Scientific evidence proves that cannabis is a dangerous and harmful substance, especially for children and young people who use it regularly,” the study notes.

Marijuana is the most used drug in Europe, with 14.6 million young adults lighting up in 2014, according the report.

About a dozen countries in Europe have provisions for the medical use of marijuana, including Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

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SEX

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had ‘marital duty’ to have sex with husband

A case has been brought against France at the European Court of Human Rights by a woman who lost a divorce case after judges ruled against her because she refused to have sex with her husband.

France taken to European Court over divorce ruling that woman had 'marital duty' to have sex with husband
Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

The woman, who has not been named, has brought the case with the backing of two French feminist groups, arguing that the French court ruling contravened human rights legislation by “interference in private life” and “violation of physical integrity”.

It comes after a ruling in the Appeals Court in Versailles which pronounced a fault divorce in 2019 because of her refusal to have sex with her husband.

READ ALSO The divorce laws in France that foreigners need to be aware of

The court ruled that the facts of the case “established by the admission of the wife, constitute a serious and renewed violation of the duties and obligations of marriage making intolerable the maintenance of a shared life”.

Feminist groups Fondation des femmes (Women’s Foundation) and Collectif féministe contre le viol (Feminist Collective against Rape) have backed her appeal, deploring the fact that French justice “continues to impose the marital duty” and “thus denying the right of women to consent or not to sexual relations”.

“Marriage is not and should not be a sexual servitude,” the joint statement says, pointing out that in 47 percent of the 94,000 recorded rapes and attempted rapes per year, the aggressor is the spouse or ex-spouse of the victim.

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