Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Where is cannabis most popular?

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Data from the Crime Survey show that people in the West Country are more than 1 1/2 times more likely to smoke cannabis that those in the East Midlands.

West Country folk top the weed league

Six weeks ago, I posted an infographic from the Independent which used data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) to explore which English and Welsh regions preferred different illegal drugs. The main findings were:

  • London has 196 per cent more people reporting use of ecstasy in the past year (2.943 per cent) than the average for England and Wales, making it the capital’s drug of choice compared to national rates.
  • Both the West and East midlands and the east of England returned prevalence below the national average across the whole range of drugs surveyed.
  • The drug most frequently used across England and Wales was cannabis (6.473 per cent), while the least used were hallucinogens (0.498 per cent).

Using the same source material, the Independent has now created another map which shows the popularity of cannabis on a region-by-region basis. The figures in the map below — which refer to the percentage of people in that area who told CSEW that they had smoked cannabis in the previous year — show that 8.2 per cent of people in the South West used cannabis,  with Londoners (7.2%) and people in the North West (7.1%) also more likely to smoke weed than other areas:


Interestingly, only one in 20 people from the East Midlands reported smoking cannabis in the last year, compared to almost one in 12 people in the West Country.


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