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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

UPDATE: Masset anti-racism rally postponed

The Yahk’ii event, which means ‘truth’ in Haida, will be rescheduled at a later date

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Registration open for first-annual ‘NextIslandpreneur’ student business competition

Competition offers mentors, iPads, seed money, cash prizes to young entrepreneurs on Haida Gwaii

Haida Nation reminds ‘select few’ fishing lodges that Haida Gwaii is closed to non-essential travel

‘Upholding Haida law amid COVID-19’ release comes one day before Queen Charlotte Lodge plans to reopen

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read