Calls to the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre on the Cusp of Cannabis Legalization

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Poison centres in US States where cannabis was legalized or decriminalized reported an increase in calls about cannabis exposures compared to poison centres in states where cannabis remained illegal during both the lead up to and just after legalization/decriminalization. We queried whether similar increases occurred in BC. The BC Drug and Poison Information Centre (DPIC) received almost triple the number of calls (644) in 2018 compared to 2013 (241). In 2018, DPIC received a higher proportion of calls after the legalization date of October 17th up to December 31st than during the pre-legalization period of September 1st to October 16th (25% versus 14%), though similar patterns were seen in the previous years for this time period. During the period of 2013-2018 where calls increased, the relative proportion of calls about young children (0-12 years), women, and from Vancouver Island increased the most, by 6%, 4% and 6%, respectively. The proportion of calls about edibles and medical cannabis products increased as well, by 14% and 12%. For calls where the sole exposure was to cannabis, DPIC staff coded medical outcomes as “minor” in 44%, "moderate" for 28% and "major" for 1% of cases. For calls where cannabis was used in conjunction with other substances, medical outcomes were coded as minor for fewer cases (41%), and slightly more cases were coded as having moderate or major outcomes (29% and 3%).

Event Date Jun 12, 2019 19:00
Posted by NCCEH May 21, 2019
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