2009 - 2012 Cannabis Use Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on the percentage of residents aged 15 and over living in Halton Region and Ontario who report cannabis use.

Background

Cannabis is a plant that is used both for medicinal purposes and as a recreational drug. Marijuana typically refers to dried leaves and flowers from a cannabis plant, while hashish is made from the resin of cannabis plants. Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in Canada, particularly among youth. Cannabis use is associated with several health risks including impaired concentration and coordination, as well as anxiety. While these negative health issues can affect people of all ages, adolescents are particularly at risk.1

In 2015, the Canadian government announced intentions to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana. It is anticipated that the new legislation will be introduced in Spring 2017.

This Health Indicator Report uses data from the Canadian Community Health Survey.

Key Findings

Halton vs. Ontario

  • For 2009-2012 combined, 44% of Halton residents aged 15 and over reported having used cannabis in their lifetime, and 12% reported having used cannabis in the past year.
  • For 2009-2012 combined, there was no statistically significant difference between Halton and Ontario in the percentage of residents who reported having used cannabis in their lifetime or in the past year.

Sex

  • For 2009-2012 combined, Halton males were more likely than females to report having used cannabis in the past year, and this difference was statistically significant.

Age

  • For 2009-2012 combined, Halton residents aged 15-24 were more likely than ages 25-44 and 45-64 to report having used cannabis in the past year. These differences were statistically significant.

Municipality

  • For 2009-2012 combined, there were no statistically significant differences by municipality in the percentage of Halton residents who reported having used cannabis in the past year.

Income

  • For 2009-2012 combined, there were no statistically significant differences by income in the percentage of Halton residents who reported having used cannabis in the past year.

Education

  • For 2009-2012 combined, there were no statistically significant differences by education in the percentage of Halton adults aged 25 and over who reported having used cannabis in the past year.
     

References

  1.  Health Canada. 2016. About marijuana. Accessed August 2016 from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/healthy-living-vie-saine/substance-abuse-toxicomanie/controlled-drugs-substances-controlees/marijuana/about-au-sujet-eng.php (external link)