Finnish Survey Reveals Changing Attitudes Towards Cannabis and Drug Decriminalization

1.3 min readPublished On: April 17th, 2023By

LOS ANGELES — A recent survey conducted by Finland’s Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) revealed that attitudes towards cannabis use and possession are changing among the Finnish population. According to YLE News, 53% of respondents said that cannabis use and possession should not be considered a criminal offense. This is a considerable increase from the 18% who held the same opinion in 2018. In addition, 24% of those surveyed believe that cannabis should be legalized for any use, while 56% think it should only be legal for medicinal purposes.

The survey also found that 29% of Fins support the decriminalization of all drugs, marking a 9% increase from the previous survey in 2018. The percentage of Finns who have tried cannabis has also seen a five-fold increase from 6% in 1992 to 29% today.

Interestingly, the survey found that 57% of respondents believe that trying cannabis once or twice poses only minor health risks, while 20% thought the same about other drugs. Karoliina Karjalainen, a specialist researcher at THL, commented that the increase in drug use among Fins was anticipated. Meanwhile, Pekka Hakkarainen, a research professor at THL, pointed out that opinions surrounding drug use and criminality are clearly changing.

Furthermore, the survey indicated that there is growing support for monitored drug use facilities as a means of reducing the number of drug overdoses. A total of 65% of respondents favored the proposal, a 15% increase from the 2018 survey.

Overall, the survey shows that Finnish attitudes towards drugs and drug policy are evolving, with increasing numbers of people supporting legalization, decriminalization, and harm reduction strategies.

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