Article by Mike O, Cannabis Life Network
On Aug. 9, Stats Canada released the results of its quarterly National Cannabis Survey which found, among other things, that 1 in 7 cannabis users got behind the wheel within two hours of consuming and that approximately 1.4 million Canadians had gotten in a vehicle driven by someone who had used cannabis two hours prior.
It also found that drug-impaired driving incidents more than doubled between 2009 and 2017 but the report was careful to note that doesn’t necessarily mean twice as many people are driving under the influence as detection methods have only gotten better and police may be checking drivers more often with legalization only months away.
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting findings and the difference between men’s and women’s cannabis preferences while also adding some important context to the numbers and how they compare to drunk driving.
Where does the driving data come from?
Stats Canada said that while it usually relied on police reports to track incidents of cannabis-impaired driving, it acknowledged that police don’t catch every drug-impaired driver and so it included supplemental survey questions for Canadians to self-report their cannabis and driving habits to try and get the bigger picture.
The numbers seem high but some context is needed
It’s important to take the numbers with a grain of salt, especially for the self-reported drivers who smoked cannabis within two hours of getting behind the wheel because there is no data on how much or little they consumed before driving.
What if they only had a toke or two? Or if they’d done a dab? Obviously, how much cannabis they consumed would play a major role in how impaired (or not) they were, so we can’t jump to conclusions and assume they were impaired.