Turn Your Pot Habit into Science!

A new study aims to learn more about Vancouver's cannabis users  

February 24, 2017

By Gabrielle Lakusta

With marijuana about to become legal in Canada, the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use is conducting an online survey to better understand why Canadians use cannabis, and—surprise, surprise—they’re looking at you, Vancouver. According to M-J Milloy, a research scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, which is partnering in the study, the hope is to generate evidence on the harms, and benefits of cannabis use. The results could potentially inform policies and laws created as the federal government moves forward with it’s plan to legalize pot.

“When it comes to drugs, public policies should be based on scientific evidence,” Milloy said, adding the survey has not been initiated to help the government with legalization, but rather “inform the legalized system” and enable monitoring of the system once it’s in place. The survey covers rather a lot of ground, Milloy said, noting it asks about both medical and recreational use, as well as questions about cannabis dependency, adverse reactions, driving after using, experiences with law enforcement, and drug substitution. He’s also hoping to find out which ailments people tend to use cannabis for—such as anxiety, depression, or chemotherapy side-effects—as well as the benefit of people using marijuana instead of other medications.

To recruit participants to the invite-only study, the researchers dropped off invitations at eight different dispensaries around Vancouver, each with their own unique code. But if you didn’t happen to be hanging at the pot shop when they swung by and want to turn your toking into science, you can request your own code here.

To participate, you must live in B.C., have purchased cannabis from a dispensary in Vancouver in the last year, used cannabis in the last year, and be 19 or older. The survey is completely anonymous, but they will hold on to your email so they can forward you Phase 2 of the survey when pot has been legalized to see what’s changed. The survey will go as long as it needs to for the team to get 1,000 participants.

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