The numbers are in, and it appears that Canadians like to smoke marijuana. Surveys suggest that between 9% and 12.2% of Canadians have smoked cannabis in the last 12 months. The numbers are highest in B.C. and Nova Scotia, with the proportion of engaged citizens approaching 15%.
As the legality of the infamous narcotic becomes lighter and lighter, evidence of detrimental health affects become more apparent. Although conclusive and replicated health experiments proving the negative long term health effects of marijuana are sparse, the fact remains that marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50% more carcinogens. This is likely evidence enough for life insurance companies to compensate for the apparent risks.
Which leads to the question: Will marijuana use affect my chances of obtaining life insurance?
Answer: It can, but most life insurance companies are more lenient than you may think.
Fortunately for 12.2% of Canadians, the use of two or three joints a week is not a problem for most life insurance companies. Any use beyond that amount could potentially result in additional premium charges. In the case of applicants using daily, life insurance applications would be declined by most companies.
However, there is one company where marijuana use is not an issue for either mortgage life insurance or for disability insurance to cover the mortgage payments. All you need to do is honestly answer the questions about marijuana use and let your broker find the company that offers the best rates.
For example, a 30 year old male occasional marijuana user could purchase $500,000 of ten year term life insurance for as little as $48 per month. Disability insurance to cover $2,000 a month can be added for $35 per month.
A heavier user of marijuana could qualify for $300,000 of mortgage life insurance and $2,000 of monthly disability insurance for about $80 per month. This coverage is available up to $500,000 of coverage.
There is also a company that does not ask questions about marijuana use on the critical illness policies up to $75,000. In this case a 30 year old male could qualify for $50,000 for about $25 per month.
If you smoke the occasional joint, you can likely still obtain cost effective life insurance. Just be sure to declare it on your application!