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Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) costs an estimated $1 billion per year in Canada today, according to a 2017 CCSA-led study, "Estimating the Harms and Costs of Cannabis-Attributable Collisions in the Canadian Provinces."

The study was produced by Ashley Wettlaufer, Roxana O. Florica, Mark Asbridge, Douglas Beirness, Jeffrey Brubacher, Russell Callaghan, Benedikt Fischer, Gerrit Gmel, Sameer Imtiaz, Robert E. Mann, Anna McKiernan and Jürgen Rehm.

It estimates the cost by studying DUIC associated fatalities, injuries and damage to property in the Canadian provinces and territories in 2012. The highest costs are associated with fatalities, with young adults between the ages of 16–34 accounting for two-thirds of all DUIC fatalities.

​Other key findings include: ​

  • In 2012, cannabis collisions in Canada resulted in an estimated 75 fatalities, 4,407 injuries and 7,794 victims of property damage only (PDO) collisions, with an estimated economic and social cost of approximately $1 billion.

  • The highest costs are associated with fatalities, accounting for more than 58% of the costs.

  • While less than fatalities, injury costs and costs related to PDO collisions are also substantial.

  • 16–34 year olds represent only 32% of the Canadian population, but 61% of the cannabis-attributable fatalities. This group also disproportionately represents 59% of the cannabis-attributable injuries and 68% of the people involved in cannabis-attributable PDO collisions. ​

More research is needed to fully explore the issue of DUIC among young drivers to understand their patterns of use and to develop effective means of prevention. Additional research is also needed to understand the impact of cannabis on driving skills and collision risk, including how the amount or dose of cannabis affects driving.

Infographic illustrates the estimated economic cost associated with cannabis collisions in Canada in 2012 ​ ​​​ ​ ​​

This infographic illustrates the estimated economic cost
​associated with cannabis collisions in Canada in 2012.

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