OCT 20, 2023 8:55 AM PDT

Study Highlights Outcomes of Canadian Legal Cannabis Over the Past Five Years

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Charron

A recent study examined the direct and indirect effects of Canadian cannabis legalization. The study focused on social justice and health benefits as well as disadvantages. The findings published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal show increased cannabis consumption, cannabis-related emergency department visits and admissions. The study also noted rates of cannabis-related impaired driving have stayed the same or increased. 

The study found that more than a quarter of Canadians and most cannabis consumers now obtain their cannabis from legal instead of the illicit market. Another finding showed significant associations between adverse effects with overconsumption of edibles and cannabis-induced psychosis. The researchers also noted a substantial decrease in cannabis-related arrests

Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, but there is limited research evidence to show that the benefits align with the original policy objectives of improving cannabis users' and public health, according to Dr. Benedikt Fischer of Vancouver's Simon Fraser University. Fischer explained, "At this stage, cannabis legalization in Canada appears not to have been the public health disaster anticipated by some of its opponents, but it cannot be described as a comprehensive or unequivocal success for public health either." The researchers recommend systematic assessments of policy reform should include an analysis of the societal benefits of legalization.

Canadian regulations restrict the product types, potency, and amounts available to adult recreational consumers. Previous legal restrictions have limited cannabis research, so the researchers advocate for increased research attention to product quality, safety, and access and monitoring the risks and benefits of cannabis use in various populations, including youth, adults, and high-risk consumers. More research studies focus on health threats such as cannabis use disorder, respiratory health, and hospital admissions or emergency department visits. Other data on cannabis-related crime, economic development, and other socioeconomic indicators will shed more light on the impact of legalization and inform regulatory policy development.

Sources: BBC, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Eureka News Alert


About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Kerry Charron writes about medical cannabis research. She has experience working in a Florida cultivation center and has participated in advocacy efforts for medical cannabis.
You May Also Like
Loading Comments...