Cannabis Survey Reveals Misconceptions among Canadian Users

The Canadian Cannabis Survey, conducted by Health Canada between March and May, 2017, and released in December, revealed some troubling misconceptions held by Canada’s marijuana users. In particular, it found that ‘only half of respondents who had consumed cannabis in the last year felt that marijuana use affects driving,’ the National Post reported.  The findings should be of concern to every car accident lawyer in Ontario.

Additionally, 39 per cent of respondents who had used marijuana in the previous year said they had driven within two hours of use at some point in their lives. Of that 39 per cent, 40 per cent admitted to doing so within the previous 30 days, and 15 per cent said they had driven after using a combination of alcohol and cannabis.

The findings paint a troubling picture of marijuana-users’ habits and underscore the need for a comprehensive, far-reaching public education strategy ahead of the federal government’s stated legalization deadline of July 1, 2018. To date, Ottawa has pledged $46-million over five years towards a campaign that targets young Canadians, Indigenous groups, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and Canadians with a history of mental illness, the Globe and Mail reported last October.

“We want to target kids,” Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor told reporters at a news conference last year. “There is a lot of misinformation about cannabis, so first and foremost, we have to educate people.”

To the relief of any car accident lawyer, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale stressed the safety risks presented by cannabis users’ presence on Canadian roads.

Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada, and drug-impaired driving has been increasing every year since 2009,” he said in a release. “Public education and awareness will help Canadians, especially youth and their parents, understand the potentially deadly risks of driving while impaired by cannabis or other drugs.”

However, Conservative justice critic Michael Cooper has dismissed Ottawa’s legalization deadline and the accompanying public awareness campaign as “a failure.”

“When legalization comes into effect, more Canadians are going to be consuming marijuana and more Canadians are going to be on our roads driving impaired,” he said, according to the Post. “This is a rushed and arbitrary timeline.”

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a traffic accident involving drug or alcohol impairment, contact Will Davidson LLP today to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our team can help you understand your legal situation and advise you on your path to recovery.

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