In response to the high use rates among Canadians — particularly among youth — the federal government legalized the recreational use of cannabis in October 2018. Canadian physicians have also been addressing the impacts of high use rates amongst their patients. Given physicians’ stake in the issue, the CMA was a prominent voice throughout the deliberations of the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, legislation and regulations.
Today, we continue to advocate for a public health approach to cannabis with three primary aims: prevent problematic drug use; make assessment, counselling and treatment services more available; and improve safety for those who use through harm reduction programs and awareness.
While the CMA recognizes that some individuals suffering from terminal illness or chronic disease may obtain relief with cannabis, there remains a need for clinical research, regulatory reviews and guidance for the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Regulatory reviews are designed to protect patients and to provide critical information to physicians, such as clinical indications, dosages, and potential interactions with medications.
We continue to support physicians by providing information and resources on cannabis use for recreational and medical purposes.
of adult Canadians (ages 25 and up) reported having used cannabis at least once in the past year. Over one third reported using it at least once in their lifetime.
of Canadian students in grades 7 to 12 reported having used cannabis at least once in the past year — making them top users among their peers worldwide.
of patients accessing publicly funded substance abuse treatment said cannabis was a problem substance — third only behind alcohol and tobacco.
of fatal motor vehicle collisions in Ontario where drugs were detected in drivers.