The number of first-time cannabis users in Canada has almost doubled since the drug was legalised in October.
A national survey by Statistics Canada found 646,000 people had tried the drug for the first time between January and March this year, compared to 327,000 in the same period last year.
Mary Brett, of campaign group Cannabis Skunk Sense, said the results were “utterly predictable” and described the move as going down “a very dangerous path”.
The survey also revealed that 18 per cent, 5.3 million, of Canadians aged 15 and above had used cannabis in the last three months – up four percent since the drug was legalised.
In addition, former cannabis users admitted to trying the drug again post-legalisation.
Michelle Rotermann, senior analyst on Statistics Canada’s health analysis division, said one of the unique things about this research “is the number of respondents who said they’re using for the first time.
“So they started, in this case, in the post-legalisation period.”
Speaking about the UK, Craig Mackinlay MP said: “The more evidence I hear about the ill-effects of cannabis use, the more convinced I am that we must resist at every stage any back-pedalling on our own rules.”
Brett also added: “The findings of the survey in Canada are utterly predictable – when you take the brakes off, use of cannabis will spiral.”