Community variation in adolescent cannabis use in Australia and the Netherlands

B. Rowland*, H. Jonkman, J. Williams, P. Kremer, J. W. Toumbourou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: While controversial, cannabis use is common, and often begins in adolescence. In Australia and the Netherlands, cannabis use is understood and legislated within a harm-minimisation framework. In Australia it is illegal to purchase or consume cannabis. Cannabis use in the Netherlands is illegal, except in licensed coffee shops where the sale and consumption of small amounts (5 g) are permitted. Methods: Secondary school aged children in Victoria, Australia and the Netherlands were surveyed using the same culturally adapted questionnaire, designed to measure community rates of substance use and risk factors. Youth cannabis use and predictors of use were compared between the two countries. Results: Similar levels of cannabis use in the last month were reported in Australia and the Netherlands (4.5%), with slightly lower use amongst girls, compared to boys. Common predictors of use were found in both the Australian and Netherlands sample. Conclusions: The findings suggest that interventions that effectively target similar risk factors to reduce or prevent cannabis use may have applications cross-nationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-209
Number of pages6
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Early online date26 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Cannabis
  • Drugs
  • Risk factors


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