OTTAWA, NL – The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) is concerned many young people in the country don’t understand the risks of driving while under the influence of cannabis.
As a result, the CPHA is launching an updated version of its pot and driving campaign.
The campaign features information on current impaired-driving laws and legislation being proposed tomake those laws stronger as the legalization of cannabis approaches.
“Canadian youth are among the most frequent users of cannabis in the world, second only to France,” CPHA executive director Ian Culbert said in a news release on Thursday, April 12.
“Youth of that age are beginning to drive and cannabis will soon be legal for those over 18 or 19. These resources are designed to help educators, health and social service providers, health promoters — even parents and guardians —have conversations about pot and driving with adolescents.”
According to the 2015 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, more than 20 per cent of youth aged 15-19 and nearly 30 per cent of young adults aged 20-24 consume cannabis.
Meanwhile, the CPHA release indicates a national survey shows just under half of Canadian youth aged 16-19, 48 per cent, realize the risks of consuming cannabis and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, whereas 79 per cent understood the dangers of drinking and driving.
“Too many young Canadians don’t believe or don’t fully understand how consuming cannabis can impair their driving,” Culbert said.
“Our goal is to change those perceptions and related behaviours so that cannabis-impaired driving is seen to be as dangerous and socially unacceptable as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Resources for the CPHA’s pot and driving campaign are available at cpha.ca/pot-driving.