From mid-May to mid-June, about 4.9 million or 16 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the previous three months, according to a report released on Thursday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency said this was unchanged from what was reported one year earlier (before legalization) for the provinces and from the last time estimates for the territorial capitals were collected.
“In the second quarter, 24 per cent of Nova Scotians and 20 per cent of Albertans reported using cannabis in the previous three months, above the average for the rest of Canada (other provinces and territorial capitals combined). Cannabis use in the previous three months was also above the national average in all three territorial capitals: Whitehorse (24 per cent), Yellowknife (30 per cent) and Iqaluit (32 per cent). Meanwhile, current use was lower than the national average in Quebec (10 per cent),” said StatsCan.
“Cannabis consumption in the second quarter of 2019 was essentially unchanged from the same quarter in 2018, prior to legalization. However, the number of Canadians aged 65 and older reporting cannabis use increased from three per cent to five per cent over this period, while cannabis use among 15- to 64-year-olds was stable (ranging from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, depending on the age group).”
The federal agency said Canadian males aged 15 and older are more likely to consume cannabis compared with their female counterparts. Males are also more likely than females to consume it for non-medical reasons and to purchase the cannabis they use.
“Males (21 per cent) were almost twice as likely to have used cannabis in the first half of 2019 as females (12 per cent). This held true for every age group except seniors aged 65 and older. Almost three in five females reported never having consumed cannabis (59 per cent), compared with just over half (51 per cent) of males,” it said.
“About one-third of Canadians (males and females) reported having tried cannabis in the past but are not current users. … Research has shown that using cannabis regularly and over a long period of time has been associated with the risk of dependence and poor mental health. According to combined data from the first half of 2019, males (eight per cent) were twice as likely to report daily or almost daily use as females (four per cent). Males were also more likely than females to consume cannabis on a weekly and a monthly basis but equally as likely to report occasional use (defined here as once or twice over the three-month reference periods).”