A Community Cannabis Survey by the local Health Unit says 74 per cent of respondents who used cannabis tried it for the first time before the age of 19.
It's one of a number of finding released in a survey of 961 respondents.
The survey, which was conducted in the fall of 2018 came from individuals aged 16 and older living in the Nipissing and Parry Sound districts.
1. Survey respondents reported higher cannabis use than the local population.
2. The majority of survey respondents who reported using cannabis first tried it at a young age.
3. Many of the survey respondents who reported cannabis use in the last year were daily or almost daily users.
4. Few survey respondents would give cannabis to a person under the age of 19.
5. Several survey respondents reported either driving under the influence of cannabis or being driven in a vehicle by someone who was. It shows 27 per cent of cannabis users reported driving within two hours of using cannabis
6. Nearly one-third of cannabis users reported using cannabis and tobacco or e-cigarettes at the same time.
7. A large number of survey respondents were limited in their knowledge about cannabis.
8. The majority of survey respondents had not heard of Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.
The goal of the survey was to learn about respondents’ recreational cannabis use, attitudes towards cannabis, and knowledge of harm reduction messages related to cannabis.
All survey data was collected before recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada, on October 17, 2018, meaning these results can be used to evaluate the local impacts of cannabis legalization.
“The report’s results will help to drive public health activities, including increased community education around cannabis and its effects,” said Auburn Larose, Epidemiologist.
The full report can be found here.