Earlier this month Statistics Canada released the second quarterly report of its National Cannabis Survey (NCS).
The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will be put in motion on October 17, 2018, officially legalizing marijuana consumption and possession throughout Canada. In response to the bill’s passage, Statistics Canada has been releasing regular reports on the social and economic impacts of legalized cannabis. The Stats Can. website lists the purpose of the NCS as focusing “on the level of cannabis use in the past three months, and the likelihood that respondents may change their cannabis-related behaviours during the period immediately preceding and following legalization”.
Worries about road safety continue to emerge around the cannabis debate as detractors question whether legalization will increase the amount of people driving under the influence.
The report states that about 1.4 million Canadians have gotten in a vehicle with somebody at the wheel who has consumed cannabis in the last 2 hours. Youth aged from 15 to 25 are twice as likely to enter a vehicle with somebody who is driving under the influence.
Numbers also show that about one in seven cannabis users admit to driving with a valid driver’s license while under the influence of the drug. Males are also twice as likely to engage in such behaviour.
On a national level approximately 4.6 million people (16% of the population) reports using cannabis in the last three months. The highest numbers being in Nova Scotia (21%) and Ontario (18%). Usage seems to be the most popular among the youth, numbering around 33% as opposed to 13% among those 25 and older.
Nearly half of daily or almost daily cannabis users spend over $250 dollars a month on the drug, which adds up to around $3000 annually.
When asked whether their usage will increase after cannabis is realized and overwhelming 8 out of 10 (82%) said that they intend to use more after October 17th.