Canadian Students And Cannabis: The Latest Data

Article by Leaf News

Canadian students and cannabis: The latest data. Seventeen per cent of Canadian students in grades 7 through 12 used cannabis at least once in the preceding year, according to a new government survey. (Mark Blinch / The Canadian Press Files). A group of youths smoke marijuana during the "420 Toronto" rally in Toronto, Wednesday April 20, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

new national survey offers timely answers to an important question at the heart of the government’s marijuana legalization effort: how many young Canadians actually use cannabis?

The fresh data, released by the federal government on June 12, measured drug use by 52,103 Canadian students in grades 7 to 12 between October 2016 and June 2017. (The previous Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey was conducted from 2014 to 2015.)

Seventeen per cent of students in grades 7 to 12 said they had used cannabis in the 12 months leading up to the survey. To put that in context, cannabis is still much less popular than alcohol, which was used by 44 per cent of students in the previous year. The rate of student cannabis use didn’t change from the previous survey two years earlier.

On average, student cannabis users were 14.2 years old the first time they tried weed, with initial use coming slightly later for female students. Students tried alcohol slightly earlier than cannabis — on average, they had their first tipple at 13.4 years old.

For the first time ever, the survey asked student cannabis users how they consumed. Eighty per cent said they smoked it; 34 per cent said they used edibles; 30 per cent reported vaporizer use; and 22 per cent used dabs. Just 14 per cent said they drank a cannabis beverage.

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