Aussies, Kiwis Are the World's Biggest Marijuana Users
The Down Under culture has a worldwide reputation for being pretty easygoing, and perhaps the United Nations have uncovered the secret behind this laid-back lifestyle: ANZ is officially the #1 cannabis consuming region of the world.
According to the 2012 United Nations World Drug Report, between 9.1 and 14.6 per cent of the Oceania population was found to have used the drug, while the worldwide average stands much lower at 2.6 to 5.0 per cent.
"Cannabis remains the most prevalent drug in Australia, as well as the main substance accounting for demand for treatment for substance abuse (50 per cent),” said the report, released this month in Vienna.
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In fact, the report, which compiled statistics gathered in 2010, went on to say that the annual use of all recreational drugs outside of heroin “remain much higher than the global average”:
- Cocaine use, while dropping in North America, rose a full percentage point in Australia with 1.5 to 1.9 per cent of the population using the drug.
- Ecstasy use declined in Australia from 3.7 to 3.0 per cent. This has been attributed to two sets of happenings: frequent ecstasy lab busts (17 were reported in 2010) and an increase in substance seizures.
- In New Zealand, this decrease in ecstasy use has reportedly “been offset by the use of other substances mimicking its effects, including many piperazines, cathinone and mephedrone.” In essence, it’s been replaced by other illicit drugs.
“Despite a decline in reported ‘ecstasy’ manufacture, it is worth noting that some countries, such as Australia and Indonesia, reported an increase in the manufacturing capability or size of laboratories,” said the report.
Perhaps this ranking, coupled with The Netherlands’ ban on selling cannabis to foreigners, will open a new tourism market in Australia. In 2010, the northern NSW town of Nimbin ranked seventh on a list of “The World’s Top Marijuana Travel Destinations” and globally, cannabis is the #1 drug of choice.
However, this idea is pretty unlikely to take off while Prime Minister Julia Gillard is running the country.
Digital Leader Mobiquity Expands Into Asia-Pacific
As an international digital consulting firm, Mobiquity helps a global client base upgrade its digital banking and financial services. The company employs 1,200 team members across 50+ nationalities and serves an estimated 200+ million users each day. Recently, the company built out a digital banking experience for the Bank of the Philippines Islands’ online and mobile platforms—exemplifying its mission to help leading brands engage with technology in meaningful ways.
To highlight Mobiquity’s services, here are a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Designed and developed the first FDA-approved digital medicine system
- Launched a five-star mobile ordering app
- Pioneered a cloud-based IT infrastructure that prevented bank fraud
- Built the official AWS re:Invent 2017 and 2018 mobile apps
What Makes Mobiquity Stand Out?
According to Mobiquity, it's the people that make all the difference. ‘We’re born innovators who like meaty challenges’, the company wrote. ‘We go deeper, getting to the root of your customers’ friction and creating personalised engagements that deliver much more than a digital experience alone’. Now, the company has added former Microsoft and IBM director Gustavo Quiroga to its team.
Who Is Gustavo Quiroga?
At Mobiquity, he’ll be the first Vice President of Business Development Financial Services in APAC. With years of experience in the industry, Quiroga has developed numerous tech, business, and customer experience projects: at Microsoft, he led a top Aussie Azure Data and AI specialist team, and at IBM, he applied AI and deep analytics to transform the company’s business processes, CX, and UX.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Quiroga will start to work with Mobiquity clients in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines and take responsibility for expanding the company’s regional operations. ‘Our best way to impact client outcomes’, he wrote, ‘is by listening to them with an inquisitive and open mind and empowering our people to do the same’.
When notified of the announcement, Quiroga expressed excitement over his new role. ‘I’m delighted to join Mobiquity and support the company’s rapid expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. I joined Mobiquity to develop, design and implement digital products and services that create meaningful experiences with customers...and I look forward to using my expertise to develop partnerships where we can achieve this every day’.
Where Does Mobiquity Go From Here?
In the past six months, Mobiquity has hired over 100 new employees, including the high-profile additions of Howard Moore, Senior Director of Banking, and Ruby Walia, Senior Advisor for Digital Banking. This falls in line with the company’s hyper-growth strategy to deliver digital products to the world.
As Matthew Williamson, Mobiquity’s Vice President of Global Financial Services, explained: ‘Our appointment of Gustavo demonstrates [our] commitment to hiring an A-list team of talent. The latest addition to the Mobiquity team supports our vision of global growth in Asia-Pacific, as a recognised partner within the banking and finance ecosystem’.