• Austria's news in English

Teens in favour of legalizing cannabis

Staff reporter · 26 Jun 2014, 14:36

Published: 26 Jun 2014 14:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

However, young people are more sceptical about other drugs, according to a European-wide survey published by the EU Commission in June.

According to the figures, 52 percent of young Austrians between the ages of 15 and 24 are in favour of a regulated declassification of cannabis, and only one percent think the drug should be completely unregulated.

In contrast, 47 percent are in favour of a continued ban on cannabis. A large majority - 62 percent of young people - have never tried the drug and a similar number say they have never tried hashish or marijuana.

Nine percent said they had taken cannabis at least once during the past 30 days, and 29 percent had taken it more than once.

Of the 501 young Austrians questioned 56 percent thought that smoking the occasional joint was not dangerous, and around 16 percent thought that regular use of marijuana or hash held little or no risk to human health. However, only one in ten believed the same was true for alcohol.

In Austria, possession and cultivation of marijuana is illegal and punishable by jail sentences of up to ten years.

Drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine are viewed as being more dangerous, with 86 percent of teens saying that taking ecstasy just once or twice would be a serious health risk. Only one in 20 thought ecstasy should be legally available. They were also wary of so-called “legal-highs”, with 93 percent saying they had never tried one.

Designed to mimic the effects of illegal drugs, "legal highs" are chemically different enough to not be covered by the law.

The EU Commission is concerned about the rise of pan-European “legal highs”. Consumption amongst adolescents has increased since 2011, from five to eight percent.

Story continues below…

They cannot be sold for human consumption, but are often sold as bath salts or plant food to get round the law, and are easily available.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available