As we approach the three-year legislative review of the Cannabis Act, it is a good time to review the knowledge on the public safety aspects of cannabis legalization. Public Safety and Cannabis: Taking Stock of Knowledge Since Legalization is a report summarizing what Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction heard at the cannabis policy research symposium they sponsored. That report is now available online.Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Key themes that emerged from the symposium included:
- Legal cannabis is taking up an increasing market share.
- At least some online Illegal cannabis sales declined after legalization.
- Decriminalization of cannabis significantly reduced the rate of young people being charged for cannabis-related activities.
- Acute use of cannabis resulted in a modest increase in crash risk following the legalization of cannabis.
- There is a lack of systematic evidence on the impacts of legalization on organized crime, which prevents the ability to draw conclusions and create evidence-based practice.
- Law enforcement practices in Canada are evolving to respond to the challenges of regulating cannabis production and distribution, including the need for appropriate procedures, training, and resources.