New evidence suggests that cannabis-related hospitalizations and emergency departments may have increased among Canadian teens as a result of cannabis legalization. Using data collected in the first 5 to 6 months after cannabis legalization, two studies assessed the effects of cannabis legalization in Canada on adolescent cannabis-related hospitalizations, defined in both studies as admissions for poisoning or for psychological or behavioural effects of cannabis using the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). The first study (conducted in the province of Quebec) found no significant evidence of an increase in cannabis-related hospitalizations among adolescents and compared a period before legalization (October 17, 2017 to March 31, 2018) with a period after legalization (October 17, 2018). October 2018 to March 31, 2019). However, among boys aged 10 to 14 years, the proportion of hospitalizations related to cannabis-related substances increased significantly, from 39.3% before legalization to 70.0% after legalization (104). The second study, a retrospective table of cannabis-related visits to an academic emergency department in Hamilton, Ontario, found a significant 56% increase in emergency department visits following cannabis legalization among young adults aged 18–29 (105). A recent cross-sectional study repeated in Ontario evaluated emergency department visits and hospitalizations associated with cannabis exposure over a long period of time before and after legalization (between January 2016 and March 2021) (106). This study identified a total of 522 emergency department visits due to cannabis exposure during the study period; 81 visits took place in the period prior to legalization (January 2016 to September 2018), 124 visits in the period immediately following legalization of cannabis flower products (October 2018 to January 2020) and 317 visits in the period following the legalization of the commercial sale of cannabis edibles (February 2020-March 2021), This represents a significant increase before legalization for the two post-legalization periods. Importantly, even after adjusting for the upward trend in cannabis-related hospitalizations over the study period, the period following the legalization of commercial sales of cannabis edibles remained significantly associated with an increase in emergency department visits (106). Another study conducted in the province of Alberta found that while the volume of cannabis-related pediatric emergency department visits did not increase overall in the post-legalization period (October 1, 2018 to March 1, 2020) compared to a pre-legalization period (October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2018), There has been a significant increase in unintentional cannabis use among older children and adolescents (107). Finally, a retrospective review of emergency department visits at a children`s hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, revealed an increase in pediatric emergency department visits related to accidental cannabis exposures, although the absolute number is still relatively small (5 visits in the 5 years prior to legalization, 32 visits in the 2 years following legalization) (108). Some experts warn that it may be too early to call marijuana legalization a general success. The Canadian model differs from other countries that have legalized the recreational use of cannabis in several ways.
First and foremost, the level of regulation of the cannabis market is much broader, with strict restrictions on packaging and labelling, as well as advertising, marketing and promotion. Another difference is the government`s support for Canada`s low-risk cannabis use guidelines (25) to educate the public and health professionals (26). The legal cannabis industry in Canada has shown tremendous promise. In recent years, marijuana businesses across the country have experienced phenomenal growth. In some cases, investors should be wary of hype, and caution may be the best approach. However, like any other business, cannabis companies publish their financial results. Beyond the hype, this is the real proof of their success. And in recent years, many of the industry`s early problems have been solved.
48. Raycraft R. The advantages, disadvantages and unknowns of legal cannabis in Canada 3 years later. CBC News. (2021). Available online at: www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cannabis-changed-canada-1.6219493 The recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada two years ago, and when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau`s government introduced legalization in the country, it was stories like Robert`s – a life derailed by a possession charge – that resonated most with many Canadians. 51. Health Canada. Summary of results from the 2018/2019 Canadian Student Survey on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs. Canada.ca (2019). Available online at: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/canadian-student-tobacco-alcohol-drugs-survey/2018-2019-summary.html Am 17.
In October 2018, Canada officially legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana by adults. It was only the second country in the world to do so (the first country was Uruguay to legalize marijuana use in 2013). Other countries where marijuana has been legalized include Georgia and South Africa. The results available for this review cover only 3 years after legalisation; It is therefore not surprising that the data are limited and mixed. Further surveillance and research is needed to assess the impact of cannabis legalization on Canadian adolescents, and current findings should be viewed with caution. Callaghan says his ongoing research suggests that youth visits to emergency rooms for poisoning or excessive marijuana use could be “significantly” on the rise. That reflects U.S. trends in states that have legalized marijuana, he said. In summary, the results are mixed when it comes to cannabis use by adolescents before and after legalization. Most studies do not show a pronounced/statistically significant increase; some have seen an increase in cannabis use among teens, and the most recent CCS 2021 found a decrease in cannabis use among teens. This is important because an earlier cross-national study suggests that the association between adolescent cannabis use and cannabis liberalization may not be statistically significant until 5 years after liberalization (68). In addition, surveys of high school students may be underestimated, as youth who dropped out of school had higher rates of cannabis use (69).
102. Haines-Saah RJ, Fischer B. Youth Cannabis Use and Legalization in Canada – Reconsider the Fears, Myths and Facts Three Years Later. J can perform child and adolescent psychiatry. (2021) 30:191. Canada`s 26th Government. Canadian Guidelines on Low-Risk Cannabis Use. (2020). Available online at: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/resources/lower-risk-cannabis-use-guidelines.html In countries and states where marijuana has been legalized, there have been shown significant benefits to the economy.
In fact, many of the most successful companies in the legal cannabis space are based in Canada. In the early days of legalization, many analysts of the legal cannabis industry speculated that Canada`s legalization process would bring a distinct advantage in terms of reaping financial rewards, and these predictions eventually came true for the country. Although they have been legalized at the federal level, many rules are set at the provincial and territorial level, so the impact is likely to be different across the country. While it is still too early to determine, there is evidence that Canadian provinces and territories with more relaxed cannabis retail regulations have experienced a higher increase in consumption than those with stricter regulations (120). This would be consistent with the alcohol and tobacco literature, which suggests that a relative increase in availability is associated with increased consumption (33, 35). From a public health and youth welfare perspective, provinces and territories should develop and implement restrictions on retail density (35). The legalization of cannabis could affect youth seeking mental health support. A recent study analyzed data from a pre-legalization cohort and a cohort of post-legalization adolescents who received treatment through an outpatient treatment program for adolescent addictions and concurrent disorders offered by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario. They found no significant differences in a number of cannabis-related outcomes associated with legalization, including no change in polydrug use among adolescents and no change in mental health or substance dependence symptoms (101). Using a similar retrospective observation design, another study examined data from at least 12 years of patients who consulted a psychiatrist in the emergency department of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) and compared a period of 5 months after legalization to a period of 2 years before legalization.
They observed a significant increase in diagnoses of cannabis use disorder, which was particularly pronounced in patients aged 18 to 24 (from 17.3% before legalization to 25.9% after legalization), although there was no significant increase in psychotic disorder diagnoses. This study also found a significant increase in active cannabis use among young adults who presented for mental health services, from 37.9% before legalization to 52.3% after legalization.