Patterns of cannabis use in Flanders

Research Period

1 January 2002 - 15 June 2003


Own resources - Province of East-Flanders


Marjolein MUYS

Key Words

cannabis, use patterns, Flanders, snowball sampling


This study presents a broad spectrum of research data concerning cannabis, obtained through a sample of 369 experienced cannabis users who are at least 18 years old. These respondents were not recruited through the common channels of social welfare, drug assistance, police and justice, but through a network of 60 privileged access interviewers and by means of snowball sampling.
The research instrument, a semi-structured questionnaire, is a modified version of a questionnaire that was earlier applied in Amsterdam, San Francisco and Bremen. The analysis of the research data consisted primarily of simple descriptive statistics.
The empirical findings were published in the book 'Cannabis in Vlaanderen. Patronen van cannabisgebruik bij ervaren gebruikers' (Cannabis in Flanders : Patterns of cannabis consumption in experienced users.). This book is the first in a series of the ISD. In this book, empirical findings are presented concerning the general background characteristics of the sample, initiation into cannabis use, patterns of use, methods of use, other drug use and combined use, buying cannabis, advantages and disadvantages of cannabis consumption, the long term consequences, the informal behavioural rules around cannabis use, the perception of drug policy, quitting and diminishing consumption, cannabis dependence and characteristics of cannabis users who receive(d) drug assistance.

Valorisation: publications and lectures

The complete empirical results of this study were published as:

  • DECORTE, T., MUYS, M., & SLOCK, S. (2003). Cannabis in Vlaanderen. Patronen van cannabisgebruik bij ervaren gebruikers. ISD-reeks n° 1. Leuven: Acco.

Syntheses van de empirische resultaten aangevuld met reflecties vindt men in:

  • MUYS, M., SLOCK, S. & DECORTE, T. (2004), De gebruikscarrière van ervaren cannabisgebruikers in Vlaanderen, Agora, 20(5), 22-30.
  • SLOCK, S., MUYS, M. & DECORTE, T. (2004), Cannabis in Vlaanderen, V.A.D.-Berichten, 1, 17-18.

Lezingen over dit onderzoek:

  • MUYS, M. (2004), Cannabis in Vlaanderen. Presentation at the Studiedag jongereninformatiepunten, Brussel, 4 mei 2004.
  • SLOCK, S. (2004), Cannabis in Vlaanderen, Patronen van cannabisgebruik bij ervaren gebruikers, voordracht in opdracht van de preventiedienst, Brugge (België), 4 maart 2004.
  • DECORTE, T. (2003), Cannabis in Vlaanderen, Boekenbeurs: Panelgesprek, Antwerpen, 8 november 2003.
  • DECORTE, T. (2003), Exploratief onderzoek naar cannabisgebruik in Vlaanderen. Presentation at the VAD-studiedag over alcohol en andere drugs, Gent, 20 november 2003.
  • DECORTE, T. (2003), De riskante en tegelijk aangename ervaring met cannabis. Presentation at the Nationale Studiedag 'Verslaving anders bekeken', SOS - zelfhulpgroepen voor mensen met verslavingsproblemen, Gent, 29 november 2003.
  • DECORTE, T. (2003), Cannabis in Vlaanderen. Patronen van cannabisgebruik bij ervaren gebruikers. Presentation at the Studiedag 'Omgaan met cannabis' georganiseerd door Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen - Instituut voor Sociaal Drugsonderzoek - Provinciaal Steunpunt Lokaal Overleg en Vroeginterventie, Gent, 1 december 2003.