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Journal Article


Wadsworth E, Hammond D. Addict. Behav. 2019; 90: 171-175.


School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)








INTRODUCTION: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in the world. An increasing number of jurisdictions have legalized medical and non-medical cannabis; comparisons across jurisdictions can help evaluate the impact of these policy innovations. The current study examined patterns of cannabis use among youth in Canada (CA), England (EN) and the United States (US). At the time of study, non-medical cannabis use was prohibited federally in all three countries; however, medical cannabis was accessible with varying restrictions in CA, EN and most US states, while non-medical cannabis was legal in four US states.

METHODS: Data come from an international online survey conducted in July 2017 (n = 12,064). Youth, aged 16-19, were asked about cannabis consumption, perceived access to cannabis, perceptions of harm, and driving after cannabis use. All estimates represent weighted data.

RESULTS: US youth were more likely to report more frequent cannabis consumption, easier access, lower perceptions of harm, and higher rates of driving after cannabis use than CA and EN youth. CA youth reported more frequent consumption, easier access, and higher rates of driving after cannabis use than EN youth.

CONCLUSION: CA and US youth had higher prevalence of use, easier access, lower perceived harm and higher driving rates after cannabis use in comparison to EN. These differences may reflect more permissive cannabis policies in CA and US, as well as pre-existing trends. Future waves of the international cannabis study will examine trends over time within the same countries after cannabis legalization in CA and additional US states.

Keyword: Cannabis impaired driving

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Cannabis; Drug Policy; Legalization; Marijuana; Youth


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