Statistics Show Canadian Weed Smoking Has Not Increased Post-Legalization

One of the most pervasive arguments against progressive drug policy reform is that legalization and decriminalization will inevitably lead to higher rates of drug consumption. Make a previously prohibited (and therefore risky) activity safer, more accessible and better regulated, so this line of reasoning goes, and more people are going to do it. It’s the same logic at work when people criticize needle exchange programs, or sex education or free access to birth control. But a new report from StatCan, a Canadian government agency tracking cannabis consumer data, shows how unfounded such assumptions are. According to the report, legalization hasn’t made more Canadians spark up.

About As Many People Are Smoking Weed After Legalization As Before

Tracking new trends in consumer behavior is crucial to understanding the rapidly growing cannabis market. New consumer groups are transforming the industry, and it’s important to know who they are. Thursday morning, Canada’s national statistics office, StatCan, released figures obtained from the fourth quarter of its National Cannabis Survey. The data set covers from mid-November, about a month into legalization, and mid-December.

Over that period, about 4.6 million Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis within the previous three months. (The minimum legal

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