Canadians Like Their Marijuana
November 28, 2012

Canadians Young And Old Love Marijuana

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Ontario released a new study today which suggests most Canadian adults are drinking responsibly, older adults are smoking marijuana, and kids who smoke are also inclined to go for a drive after.

“More young adults are reporting that they drive within an hour of using cannabis - even more than those who report drinking and driving,” said Dr. Robert Mann, the senior scientist and lead researcher at CAMH.

According to the CAMH Monitor survey, 19% of those young adults aged 18-to 29-years old reported going for a spin just one hour after smoking weed. This number is much larger than the amount of young adults who are drinking and driving. Only 6% of those young adults surveyed reported having 2 or more drinks before getting behind the wheel.

The CAMH Monitor survey is the longest ongoing survey of substance abuse in Canadian adults. The 2011 survey included more than 3,000 adults, all aged 18 and up.

In addition to discovering that Canadian youngsters are more inclined to smoke and drive, the 2011 CAMH Monitor survey also found older adults are beginning to enjoy marijuana as well. Adults aged 50 and over now make up 16% of all weed-smoking adults. According to the statement, this number is 5 times higher than it was in 1977.

A majority of adults (81%) said they had enjoyed at least 1 alcoholic beverage in the past year, but said they did not drink excessively. The CAMH has often observed these drinking habits, noting certain groups are more likely to drink to excess more than others.

“Women are drinking more than in the past,” explained Dr. Mann.

In 1998, for example, 3% of Canadian women surveyed said they had one drink a day. This number has since doubled, with 6% of women saying they drank daily. The number of women who drank to excess, or in ways that are “hazardous or harmful,” has also risen since 1998, from 5% to 8%.

“Binge drinking also remains high, particularly among 18-to 29-year olds,” said Dr. Mann in the statement.

“Overall, nine per cent of Ontario drinkers consume five or more drinks at one time each week, which represents 691,700 people.”

The CAMH Monitor survey has also found not only are more people drinking, but the amount they´re drinking has also been increasing in recent years.

An earlier report from the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS) suggests fewer adults are drinking, listing the number at 78%.

The CADUMS survey also interviewed a wider range of Canadians, ages 15 and up. Their study concluded the percentage of all adults who had a drink during the past year was highest among teenagers, coming in at 70.8%. On average, these teens began drinking at 16 years old, on par over the previous 7 years.

The CAMH Monitor survey didn´t list how many young adults reported smoking marijuana. According to the CADUMS survey, In 2011, 9.1% of Canadian adults surveyed had reported smoking weed, while 21.6% of young adults (aged 15 to 24) had reported smoking in the last year. This number was three times higher than the number of adults who reported smoking weed in the last year. The CADUMS survey also found the average teen is near 16 years old when they smoke weed for the first time.