Commonly referred to as marijuana, weed, hash—cannabis was the most frequently used illicit drug in Canada, used in the past-year by 12% of the population in 2015. The rate of cannabis use among Canadian youth aged 15–24 years (24.4%) was 3 times higher compared to adults (8.0%), and approximately 1/4 of cannabis users reported using for medical purposes.

A growing body of research suggests that chronic marijuana use can have negative implications for mental and physical health, brain function (memory, attention and thinking) and driving performance. Although much research to date has focused on the health risks associated with the use of marijuana, clinical evidence supporting the use of marijuana for specific medical purposes is also beginning to emerge. For more information on marijuana for medical purposes, view the policy brief developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

Cannabis will be legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Act creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. The Act aims to accomplish 3 goals:

  1. Reduce and prevent cannabis use among youth
  2. Keep profits out of illicit markets
  3. Protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to safe, legal cannabis

For more information about Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, click here.

For more information:

Statistics Canada & Health Canada. (2017). Canadian Tobacco Alcohol and Drugs (CTADS): 2015 summary. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey/2015-summary.html 

2 Ibid

Government of Canada, Department of Justice. (2018). Cannabis Legalization and Regulation. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/cannabis/