Geneva overtakes Amsterdam to become cannabis capital of Europe

Geneva overtakes Amsterdam to become cannabis capital of Europe

According to a new study by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), no other city in Europe has more weed smokers than Geneva. The city overtook the likes of Amsterdam to take the top spot, with other Swiss cities like Zurich and Basel also placing in the top 10.

Geneva has the highest per capita weed consumption in Europe

While Swiss cities are used to placing in the top 10 for quality of life and cost of living, you might not expect a place in the alpine nation to be named “Europe’s stoner capital.” However, after taking wastewater samples from 104 European cities and analysing them for drug residue, the EMCDDA found that the samples from Geneva had the highest concentration of marijuana, making locals in the city the biggest weed smokers on the continent.

To take the top spot, the Swiss city beat out areas that - for tourists at least - are more associated with weed consumption and culture. With a measurement of 181 milligrams per 1.000 people per day, Geneva’s cannabis consumption is significantly higher than Amsterdam's (169mg), Barcelona's (151mg) and Almada's (134mg).

Switzerland are European champions in smoking cannabis, Blick concludes

However, before you think it’s just the residents of Geneva that have a hankering for hash, Zurich - the city of up-tight entrepreneurs and banks - came fifth, with Basel taking sixth place and the de-facto capital of Switzerland, Bern, placing 11th. Blick concluded that as countries go, “The Swiss are European champions in smoking weed.”

This adds to a previous study by the University of Geneva, which found that around 750.000 joints are smoked in Switzerland every single day. The Swiss university told Blick that the industry makes 1 billion Swiss francs a year and that despite it not being legal in the vast majority of cases and cantons, people use the drug regardless of what the rules are.

Top 10 European cities for cannabis consumption

In all, here are the 10 European cities with the highest concentration of marijuana in their wastewater (in milligrams per 1.000 people per day):

  1. Geneva, Switzerland (181)
  2. Amsterdam, the Netherlands (169)
  3. Barcelona, Spain (151)
  4. Almada, Portugal (134)
  5. Zurich, Switzerland (133)
  6. Basel, Switzerland (132)
  7. Lisbon, Portugal (130)
  8. Rekyavik, Iceland (122)
  9. Karlovy Vary, Czechia (121)
  10. Prague, Czechia (112)

For more information, and to see how other European nations faired on the ranking, check out the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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