Health Canada Releases New Data on Cannabis Use in Canada

Published: November 19, 2018

Health Canada Releases New Data on Cannabis Use in Canada

The old approach to cannabis did not work. It let criminals and organized crime profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it has been easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.

To address these issues, on October 17, the Government of Canada legalized and strictly regulated access to cannabis. To track Canadians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards cannabis, the Government of Canada is examining how usage changes from year to year. Standardized and comparable data are needed to evaluate the impact of the new cannabis legislation and to develop policy and program initiatives, including public education and awareness activities.

Between May and July 2018, Health Canada asked almost 13,000 Canadians about their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to cannabis, including their cannabis use and driving behaviours after consuming cannabis. Results from the 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey released today provide a snapshot of Canadians’ views and habits related to cannabis several months before the Cannabis Act came into force:

  • how much and how often they used cannabis,
  • where they got it from,
  • what forms of cannabis they consumed,
  • the extent to which they were accepting of cannabis use,
  • what they thought about its potential to be habit forming, and
  • whether they believed cannabis could affect someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey contributes to the foundation of information needed to measure and monitor the impacts of the Government’s cannabis legislation. It also complements previously collected data on the prevalence of cannabis use in the general population.

These survey results reinforce the Government of Canada’s continued public education efforts on the facts around cannabis, as well as on drug-impaired driving, to support Canadians in making informed decisions on cannabis use.

“The Canadian Cannabis Survey provides us with valuable data to monitor the impact of legalizing, regulating and restricting access to cannabis. Information on the habits and behaviours of Canadians in relation to cannabis reinforces the importance of public education,” said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey was designed to seek a greater number of respondents who use cannabis in order to obtain more detailed information on cannabis use in Canada, such as frequency of use and methods of consumption. As such, it is important to note that the Canadian Cannabis Survey is not a general population survey and its results are not representative of the Canadian population.

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