One in seven people admit to driving after smoking pot: Statistics Canada

(Photo: Flickr/cagrimmett)

New statistics reveal 14% (or about one in seven) cannabis users with a driver’s license admit to driving within two hours of using marijuana.

And men were almost twice as likely as women to do so.

That’s according to the most recently released National Cannabis Survey, announced by Statistics Canada on Aug. 9.

Interestingly, the proportion of people who admitted to driving within two hours of getting high varied by province.

In B.C., only eight per cent of drivers admitted to doing so, which Statistics Canada said is “considerably lower than the national average.”

Driving within two hours of using cannabis was also more than four times as common among drivers who reported daily or almost daily cannabis use (27%) than it was among less frequent users (6%).

Statistics Canada “traditionally monitors cannabis-impaired driving by tracking incidents of drug-impaired driving reported to police.”

The data reveals that drug-impaired driving incidents more than doubled from 2009 to 2017. Some of the rise, however, may reflect “improvements in detection and more complete police reporting, rather than an increase in the frequency of such incidents.”

Seeing as not all drug-impaired driving is detected by police, the National Cannabis Survey included questions about driving after cannabis use to provide a “fuller statistical picture of this phenomenon.”