15% of Latvian teenagers use marijuana

About 15% of young Latvian people aged 15 and above use marijuana, according to research by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. 

"The greatest problem among teenagers is marijuana. 'Spice' is a problem among heavy users, which are not young people," State Police representative Sanda Gailāne told Latvian Radio. 

Last year, 79 minors were caught using drugs in Latvia. Meanwhile anonymous surveys say almost 15% of young people smoke weed in Latvia. 

This data is confirmed by medics' experience too. Ilze Bukša, a representative of the State Emergency Medical Service, says that each day at least a single minor needs medical assistance due to consuming intoxicating substances.

"It's a big problem that children and young people choose to use intoxicating substances. Each day we have one to two cases when adolescents are committed to the hospital due to alcohol intoxication or the consumption of other intoxicating substances," she said. 

"Truth be told, the age in which adolescents start consuming alcohol or intoxicants is very early," she said.

Municipal police patrol near all of Riga's schools, but they can only search pupils if they give consent. Police have held at least 130 lectures last year over the harms of drug use.

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