I just had a quick run on the report. The report mentions on numerous occasions that the estimates for individual countries are estimates only and should be viewed cautiously. And further states that these data may change dramatically once survery data becomes available.
The Papua New Guinea Nacortics Beaurau, the body which supplies information for such reports has been virtually non-existent for some time. I also noted that PNG did not supply the ARQ part II and Part III for the year 2005. So really the sources of data are scrappy and we should not accept the figures at face value.
Further more, according to the report, Oceania comprises only 2% of the global canabis users. That is 2% of 158.8 million estimated global users in 2005. However relative to other regions,the annual prevelance in Oceania is 15.8% (of 158.8 million) and is the highest prevelance rate. In this report prevelence was defined as having consumed marijuana in the last 12 months. PNG is in this 2%.
For PNG, the figure of 29.5% (age group 15-64) canabis use prevelance rate is for the year 1995. I assume this is the percentage of the total PNG population aged 15-64 as no denominator is given in the consumers table. Furthermore, the figure for PNG is more than 10 years ago!! We can not be confident of the accuracy of the source of data for that year also.
Having said all these, we can not deny that PNG does have a canabis problem. I do not think we should be too alarmed on the figures quoted for PNG here. What we should be concern about is how can we make the reporting and the monitoring systems more accurate so that we can have a clear picture of the situation in our country. What we should take from this report is that PNG has to pull up its socks on the reporting and the monitoring of illicit drug production, trafficking and use.
If we do not do something, there will continue to be misreporting of canabis use in PNG. I guess this goes for all reporting systems. If we feed rubbish to the body which does the reporting, alas the UN, we will get back an inaccurate data for our country.
see here related story on Pacific Magazine.