Most people in the United States only know a few things about Iran.
1) They want nukes.
2) Some stuff went down with them in the late 1970s.
3) They are crazy religious people who don’t want anyone to have any fun.
The “no fun” part seems to be mostly true. Most hard drug use is dealt with harshly and even alcohol consumption carries a fine. But, according to a report in The New York Times, authorities in Iran seem to basically ignore one recreational activity: consuming marijuana.
While statistics are understandably fuzzy on use, anecdotal evidence points to an increase in cannabis consumption, especially around Iran’s capital city, Tehran. Dealers are plentiful and the odor of marijuana can be found in all parts of the city.
It seems people in Iran suffer from chronically high unemployment and also high housing prices; consequently, many young people are still living at home with their parents, with plenty of time on their hands to get high as well.
Technically illegal, cannabis in Iran is still considered to be “underground” and is often laced with other drugs. Despite that – or maybe because of it – cannabis use seems to be on the rise in the lands of ancient Persia.
When it comes right down to it, cannabis has been used around the world for thousands of years and each culture has an evolving relationship with it. But as more people use it they realize that it’s not as dangerous as they were led to believe and can be a nice alternative to other recreational substances like alcohol.
Iran is a country that has lost a lot of lives fighting a war on harder drugs, namely opium from neighboring Afghanistan. Hopefully they don’t decide to open another front in that war and go after marijuana users.