"Figure 2.2.1 shows that cannabis use strongly increases with age.
"• At age 12 only few pupils have ever used cannabis, less than 1%. At age 16, one in five girls and one in three boys had ever tried cannabis.
"• While boys have overall more ever and current experience with cannabis, gender differences are only significant for current use and only at age 16.
"• While the Dutch National School Surveys on Substance use have shown a strong increase in the age of first cannabis use between 1988 and 1996, the HBSC studies showed that lifetime prevalence among 14 year old pupils decreased from 20% in 2011 to 11% in 2009.
"Frequency of cannabis use
"• Nine percent of the pupils of 12-16 years had used cannabis in the past year. Of this group, 42% had smoked cannabis only 1 time, 49% smoked between 2 and 39 times and 10% was a relatively heavy user (40 times or more in the past year).
"Cannabis use: school level and ethnicity
"• There were no significant differences between school types in the percentages of recent and current cannabis users.
"• There were also no major differences in prevalence rates between Dutch and other ethnic groups, except for a lower rate of recent use among Moroccan pupils (4% against 10% among Dutch pupils). This difference remains significant after correcting for differences in school type and family situation between Dutch and Moroccan pupils."
Van Laar, Margriet, et al., (2012). The Netherlands drug situation 2011: report to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. (Utrecht: Trimbos Institute, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), pp. 44-45.