Will cannabis be a part of your holiday celebrations?
‘Tis the first holiday season with legalized cannabis and let’s admit it, many of us are curious to know if it’ll be consumed at holiday house parties.
So, we asked that burning question—and more—in our most recent BCAA Survey. What we discovered was many of us across BC expect to see cannabis appear regularly at holiday festivities and be socially acceptable. In fact, 67% of cannabis users expect to or are open to using cannabis at holiday parties, with 54% of this group planning to celebrate with both cannabis and alcohol.
Even those who don’t use cannabis now said they may give it a go with one in ten saying they’re open to trying it for the first time this holiday season—even more said they’d try if it was offered to them by a relative or friend.
Regardless of whether you choose to partake —almost all partygoers said they’re worried about anyone getting behind the wheel while impaired, including after mixing alcohol and cannabis.
And that’s fair. A recent McGill University clinical study proves that drivers are significantly impaired for at least five hours after consuming the equivalent of an average joint. In other words, the study shows that high driving is impaired driving. And let’s just add here that mixing cannabis and alcohol can increase impairment significantly.
It’s a new era and what happens at parties may be a bit different from now on. What remains the same is that all of us want everyone to have fun, make good decisions and stay safe. The holidays really is the season to celebrate, but if anyone consumes cannabis and/or alcohol, please, stay safe and find another way home. Never take chances by getting behind the wheel.
Hosting a holiday party? Here are things to consider for a safe and merry celebration
1. Put safety first:
In general, encourage guests to not overuse in ways that may lead to harm.
2. Plan safe rides home
- In the invite and before your party, encourage your guests to plan ahead for a safe ride home or overnight stays so they’re not driving.
- Suggest transportation options: taxis, public transit or carpooling with a designated driver.
- Be prepared for guests who didn’t plan to consume cannabis or alcohol and end up doing it:
- Have parking available so an impaired person can leave their vehicle.
- Have details on hand for taxis, public transit, and carpooling.
- Prepare for overnight stays and encourage your guest to stay over.
3. Prepare your home
- Party hosts are responsible for keeping their guests safe. That means: creating a safe environment which includes providing enough space for the amount of guests, food to offset alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks.
- Ensure cannabis is consumed in an appropriate space where it doesn’t infringe on others who don’t want to be exposed. That may be outside, so ensure outside spaces are safe, and well lit (with lights that is!).
4. Understand the liabilities as a party host
- A host could be held responsible for the well-being and actions of their guests during the event and even once they’ve left (if the actions are related).
- Personal liability insurance is covered under your home insurance (excluding operation of a motor vehicle). It provides some protection if the insured is held responsible for resulting injury or damage caused to or by their guests, but there are gaps. For example, the liability part of a home insurance policy does not cover loss or damage from use of a licensed vehicle. Also, home insurance policy does not cover illegal acts.
- It’s definitely always best to be safe and minimize the risk.
Visit our dedicated website to Learn more about cannabis in BC