Fifteen per cent of all cannabis users with a valid licence reported driving within two hours of using. (Unsplash)

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Fifteen per cent of all cannabis users with a valid licence reported driving within two hours of using.

This is one of the findings that appears in National Cannabis Survey for the first quarter of 2019.

By way of background, drivers with between two and five nanograms of THC per millimetre of blood can be fined up to $1,000. Drivers with more than five nanograms of THC in their blood will receive a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 for their first offence, a mandatory jail sentence of 30 days for their second offence and a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days on any further offences. In B.C., police can impound a car for 90 days if they “reasonably” suspect that a driver is impaired by drugs. To avoid the impoundment, drivers must pass either a standard field sobriety test or a saliva test at the roadside.

Statistics Canada conducted the survey during the first three months of 2019 after starting it in 2018. As such, the survey offers the first more detailed look at cannabis use among Canadians following legalization.

RELATED: Driving with dope: Police talk rules on cannabis in the car

The survey finds cannabis use among Canadians over 15 years of age has increased to 18 per cent from 14 per cent following legalization in October 2018.

While popular culture may associate cannabis use with youth, the survey suggests that middle-aged men between the ages of 45 to 64 have increased their use since legalization. Use among men has risen to 22 per cent from 16 per cent, while use among Canadians aged 45 to 64 has risen by six per cent to 14 per cent. The survey has found no change in use among females or other age groups.

Overall, the survey suggests legalization has had a limited impact on usage patters. More than eight out of 10 Canadians (82 per cent) did not consume cannabis during the first three months of 2019. Six per cent said they consumed cannabis daily or almost daily, the same number of Canadians who reported using one or twice during the last three months. Two per cent are monthly users, while four per cent are weekly users.

These findings are broadly consistent with findings that Canadians are indifferent, even critical towards cannabis, despite legalization.

RELATED: Canadians less certain about cannabis in wake of legalization: survey

The survey, however, suggests that legalization is having its intended effect on sourcing, as more Canadians are purchasing cannabis from legal sources. In 2018, 23 per cent of consumed cannabis came from legal sources, with 51 per cent coming from illegal source. Through the first three months of 2019, 47 per cent came from legal sources, with 38 per cent coming from illegal sources.

(Users could select multiple categories, and the survey does not show the share of cannabis obtained from family or friend, self-cultivation or other sources).


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Columbia Basin Trust maps out temporary plan

CBT to engage communities and businesses through online platform

ATCO Wood donates to COVID-19 relief

ATCO donation goes to Greatest Need Fund which enhances patient safety during COVID-19

Mills oppose Celgar’s ask for discounted logs destined for chipper

Smaller mills in the southern Interior are speaking out against a proposal… Continue reading

B.C. man on 700 km walk across Canada

Benjamin Pinch talks dropping everything to fulfill his lifelong dream of walking across the country

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read