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2003 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Press release: Cannabis use and driving

3 % of Adult Drivers In Ontario Have Driven After Smoking Cannabis

3 % of Adult Drivers In Ontario Have Driven After Smoking Cannabis
Toronto, Tuesday June 3, 2003: According to Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's Provincial Drug Monitor The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's (CAMH) released the first Canadian description of changes in the prevalence of using cannabis and driving within an adult population.
The data are from the 2002 CAMH Monitor (CM), which is an ongoing health survey of adults in Ontario. The survey shows that among adults with a driver's license, 3% (approximately 200,000 drivers) report having driven a vehicle within an hour of using cannabis, at least once during the year before the survey. The rates are highest among males (5%) and 18 - 34 year olds (6%). This is a nominal increase from 1996/97 when 2% of adults surveyed reported the same behaviour. While the difference is not statistically significant, the authors of the study recommend that this behaviour warrants further scrutiny to see whether it will turn into a dominant trend.
The survey shows that in 2002, 11% of Ontario adults reported using cannabis at least once during the year before the survey. Use is significantly higher among males (15%) than females (8%) and higher among younger age groups (from 22% among 18-34 year-olds, down to 3% among those over age 55).
The CAMH eBulletin highlights the findings of the CAMH Monitor, a survey based on telephone interviews with 2,627 adults. The report describes the extent of addiction and mental health indicators among Ontario adults aged 18 years and older. This report also describes trends in alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use, based on 16 surveys conducted between 1977 and 2001. The resulting compilation of these surveys represents the longest ongoing study of adult drug use in Canada.
The eBulletin is a regular electronic publication of the CAMH Population and Life Course Studies Unit focussing on current research related issues. To receive future issues of the eBulletin, please e-mail Anne Ptasznik, Media Relations Coordinator, at or telephone 416-595-6015. Copies of all the eBulletins are also available in PDF format at the following location:
CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre and a teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. CAMH was formed in early 1998 through the merger of the Addiction Research Foundation, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, the Donwood Institute and the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.
Media Contact: Anne Ptasznik, Media Relations Coordinator, at 416-595-6015.​
CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
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