Erowid References Database
Nolin PC, Kenny C.
“CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY”.
Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs,. 2002 Sep.
From an analysis of the life stories of users and their "trajectories", we have learned primarily that, for a proportion of experimenters, which varies between 15% and 20% of the population, who will become regular users, the circumstances and patterns of their "career" as, a user vary considerably but that for a significant proportion of these long-term users, use is integrated into their social and personal life.
Further, contrary to some studies, uses of cannabis are not determined only by a series of psychological or environmental factors. In all cases, it seems that specific events, elements of one's particular life story, can trigger unregulated forms of uses, characterized in particular by intensive and solitary use. While such unregulated uses appear to be temporary, we did not come across any study that examined the trajectories of these users.
We also note that negative social attitudes and the characteristic of the cannabis market appear to have litde impact on patterns of use.
Finally, we note that regular use does not necessarily mean problem use. At the same time, we have learned that early onset and rapid progression towards regular use are factors in problem use. In other words, and this will be important for choosing public policy and interventions, initiation at a young age (under age 16) and rapid progression towards regular use (under age 20) are markers that should be used to identify and prevent heavy use. Chapter 7 will discuss this issue in greater detail.
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