New study seeks answers on how Canadians use cannabis

published on February 17, 2017 by Brian Morton in Vancouver Sun

A new study looking at how Canadians use cannabis is being launched by the B.C. Centre on Substance Use.

“The major goal is to understand better why Canadians use cannabis, what are their motivations, and what are the possible harms and benefits,” M-J Milloy, a University of B.C. assistant professor and research scientist at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which is affiliated with Substance Abuse centre, said in an interview Thursday.

“The data to date describes how many Canadians use cannabis, but the detailed information that scientists and policy-makers will need to evaluate legalization has never been collected.”

Milloy, who is leading the study, said they are recruiting participants for the Vancouver Cannabis Dispensary Users Study, noting that it’s the first Canadian study aimed at gathering data from people representing the full range of cannabis usage including medical and non-medical use.

“Our study aims to generate detailed evidence on cannabis use, harms and possible benefits to help inform the creation of the new public health framework and provide baseline data for monitoring the impacts of legalization.”

Researchers hope to recruit over 1,000 adult cannabis users who access cannabis from retail dispensaries in the city of Vancouver. Participants will complete an anonymous online survey detailing their cannabis use behaviours, beliefs, reasons for use, perceived benefits and experience of harms, such as intoxicated driving.

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