Government’s Responsibility to Educate Canadians Prior to Marijuana Legalization

An independent report published this week by the internationally recognized survey company RIWI Corp. ( is found at

The report measures Canadians’ awareness of marijuana’s health effects as determined by Health Canada and published on Health Canada’s website.

RIWI data indicates:

1. More than 40% of those under age 25 are unaware that marijuana impacts safe driving.
• RIWI: “[Further], roughly one fifth (21%) of respondents are not aware that marijuana can negatively impact one’s ability to drive safely. This is more than double those who are not aware that alcohol can negatively impact one’s ability to drive safely.”
• Health Canada: “Using cannabis can impair your concentration, your ability to make decisions, and your reaction time and coordination. This can affect your motor skills, including your ability to drive.”
2. One in five women aged 25-34 believes marijuana is safe during pregnancy, while trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
• RIWI: “[For women of] prime childbearing age (25-34), roughly one in five believe smoking marijuana is safe during pregnancy, planning to get pregnant, and breastfeeding.”
• Health Canada: “Marijuana should not be used if you are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding. … Long-term use may negatively impact the behavioural and cognitive development of children born to mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy.”
3. One in three Canadians do not think that marijuana is addictive.
• Health Canada: “Long term use may result in psychological dependence (addiction).”

4. One in three Canadians believe marijuana aids mental health.
• Health Canada: “Long term use may increase the risk of triggering or aggravating psychiatric and/or mood disorders (schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder).”
5. One in two males were unaware that marijuana could harm a man’s fertility
• Health Canada: “Marijuana should not be used if you are a man who wishes to start a family.” , a coalition of concerned Canadians commissioned this survey. RIWI independently collected and analysed the data.
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