Article by Emma Spears, Growth Op
A new study has revealed that a small percentage of Canadians are bogarting most of the cannabis — and one professor is saying that knowing this information is critical in the creation of health, harm reduction, and other public policies.
Dr. Russ Callaghan, a medical professor at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), is the lead author of a paper in the soon-to-be-published December issue of the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence that sheds light on which Canadians are consuming the most cannabis.
Researchers used data from the federal government-issued 2018 National Cannabis Survey to seek out the most enthusiastic cannabis users — and subsequently, how that information should affect public policy and reduce potential risks and harms associated with the drug.
“This is the first study to identify this pattern, and it may be important for public-health strategies in designing interventions to reduce cannabis-related harms,” Dr. Callaghan told Alaska Highway News.
The 2018 National Cannabis Survey data indicated that approximately 10 per cent of Canadians consuming almost two-thirds (66 per cent) of the country’s cannabis pre-legalization, and that males — especially those aged 15-34, the highest-consuming group — are more likely to use the drug than females. The survey assessed the cannabis consumption of Canadians over the age of 15.
“The findings are similar to those in the alcohol field, where we have found that a small subgroup of drinkers usually consumes the majority of alcohol in the population,” Dr. Callaghan said.
Previous alcohol studies have suggested that between five and 10 per cent of drinkers consume the lion’s share of the alcohol — but that the majority of the harms related to the drug are more common in low-to-moderate drinkers.