1 in 5 Canadians tried cannabis in 3 months, 1/2 of a million consumed THC products before or after work

Published May 30, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
Photo by Lukas from Pexels

A lot of people seem to remain under the impression that introducing a new legal recreational substance would increase its use, and the biggest fear has been that it might end up falling into the hands of youth who can be adversely impacted by consuming cannabis while the body is still developing. Now that marijuana legalization has been in place across Canada for nearly half of a year, it’s the perfect time to sit back and take an assessment of how marijuana use has changed among Canadians.

The National Cannabis Survey has been administered by Statistics Canada since October 17 of 2018 when marijuana legalization first came into effect, but this latest release of information is the most in-depth and spans almost six full months to have data as a fair comparison. For the first time, we will finally be able to measure the real effects, including both positive and negative, since marijuana use became legal.

The survey results

The first portion of the survey that most people were waiting for was the measured difference in youth consumers since marijuana legalization. Though marijuana use did slightly increase over the first three months following October 17, 2018, over 50% of those new consumers were over aged 40, and a mere 2% of the calculated figure including underage users. This may come as a surprise since the propaganda we have been provided for the last several decades promised an entirely different turnout if marijuana use ever became socially acceptable, but the truth is that there are very few more children who are accessing cannabis, and those who have are very unlikely to ever smoke legal marijuana.

The second area of this survey that was given special attention focused on legal age consumers and their relationship with marijuana use, including how it is incorporated into their lives. Here are a few of the most relevant highlights from the adult section of the data.

  • Approximately 65 000 Canadians have tried smoking cannabis for the first time in their lives at some point since marijuana legalization.
  • Around 32 500 of the new consumers in Canada since marijuana legalization were over age 40.
  • The average daily marijuana use of Canadians has not changed at all, but the number of weekly users has risen by approximately 2%
  • About 500 000 people have driven after smoking marijuana.
  • Half of the nearly half of a million cannabis consumers also got behind the wheel with alcohol in their system at the same time as THC.

Smoking marijuana effects are still widely misunderstood, and with plenty of new research on the produced cannabinoids showing a various range of medicinal benefits, it makes sense that older Canadians who have been seeking more natural treatments for symptoms have turned to THC since marijuana legalization. It also appears that Canada was able to avoid any potential collapse in society once dispensaries were finally introduced, and our youth seem to be staying on pace with the average yearly increases that were happening for nearly a decade before marijuana use became legal. Researchers and specialists remain insistent that at least a decade worth of this valuable data is required to make a proper assessment, but for now, the future of Canadians after the legalization of cannabis is remaining pretty much the same. This is believed to be true because the majority of those who were interested in the substance were already using it long before they received our federal government’s official blessing.

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