Despite major changes in some regions, global cannabis consumption has remained somewhat stable in recent years. In 2014, some 3.8 per cent of the global population had used cannabis in the past year, a proportion that has remained stable since 1998. Given the global population growth, this has gone in parallel with an increase in the total number of cannabis users since 1998. The Americas, followed by Africa, remain the main production and consumption regions for cannabis herb, with about three quarters of all cannabis herb seizures worldwide taking place in the Americas in 2014, the largest amounts in North America, while Africa accounted for 14 per cent of all cannabis herb seizures and Europe for 5 per cent. On the other hand, Europe, North Africa and the Near and Middle East remain the principal markets for cannabis resin, the majority of which continues to be produced in Morocco and Afghanistan, as reflected in information provided by Member States on the sources of cannabis resin seized. Accounting for 40 per cent of the total, the largest amounts of cannabis resin seized in 2014 took place once again in Western and Central Europe.
In the United States, although outcome measures such as the burden on the health and criminal justice systems need to continue to be monitored regularly, recent data from the states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use show an increase in cannabis use, as well as in public health and public safety indicators (cannabis-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, traffic accidents and related deaths), while cannabis-related arrests, court cases and criminal justice system referrals into treatment have declined.