Cannabis Use in British Columbia: patterns of use , perceptions , and public opinion as assessed in the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey

Tim Stockwell, Jodi Sturge, Wayne Jones, Benedikt Fischer, Connie Carter



Figure 1: Proportions (%) of respondents reporting different frequencies of cannabis use Overview: This bulletin examines aspects of cannabis use in BC compared with the rest of Canada, with special attention paid to potentially risky patterns of use 1. Cannabis use is more widespread in BC than in the rest of Canada, and its illegal production contributes significantly to the local economy. Analysis of the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS) suggests that 1.84 million persons in BC have tried cannabis at least once. Compared with other Canadians, significantly fewer BC respondents said they believed cannabis use should be illegal (42% versus 49%), while significantly more stated they: • had ever used cannabis in the past-53% in BC versus 44% elsewhere • experienced access to be 'very easy'-65% in BC versus 44% elsewhere • believed both occasional and regular cannabis use to be harm-free. There was mixed evidence suggesting that this situation has led to increased levels of risky use and harm. Age of first use (18.6 years versus 18.9 years elsewhere) and rates of daily use (3% in BC and elsewhere), dependence, and of driving under the influence of cannabis were not significantly different. However, significantly more BC users reported trying to control their use, having friends express concern about their use, having combined their cannabis with alcohol, and were classified as "moderate risk users" on the WHO ASSIST scale. There was also less concern about alcohol in BC than in the rest of Canada, but more concern about heroin and methamphetamine. In general, cannabis users were more likely to be young, male, and have higher education than non-users. Overall, these results suggest that greater availability, prevalence, and acceptability of cannabis in BC than in the rest of Canada has resulted in modest increases in potentially hazardous use. It would appear cannabis is regarded in BC in a similar way to alcohol, with many using it in a relatively low-risk manner and many still underestimating its risks. British ColumBia 30% 3% 5% 6% 56% 7% 47% No-never used or tried cannabis Yes-but not in the past year Yes-but not in the past 3 months Yes-within the past 1-3 months Yes-within the past week 35% 7% 3% 7% 47% 30% 3% 5% 6% 56% 5% 7% 3% 7% 47%
Originele taal-2English
UitgeverijCentre for Addictions Research of British Columbia
Aantal pagina's12
StatusPublished - 2007
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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UitgeverijCentre for Addictions Research of British Columbia

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