Cannabis in Canada: CAMH recommends a public health approach

Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world More than 10 percent of Canadians have used cannabis in the past year

Cannabis is not a benign substance, frequent and heavy use can lead to significant health problems, especially for adolescents whose brains are still developing Criminalization only intensifies the harms associated with its use The criminalization and cannabis is not deterring people from using, it in fact, our current system is failing to prevent harm What legal and regulatory approach can best reduce the harms associated with cannabis? A growing body of evidence shows that a public health approach can help tackle both the health and social harms associated with its use The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is recommending legalization with strict regulation to help reduce the harms associated with cannabis

CAMH is offering 10 basic principles to guide regulation of legal cannabis use These include: a government monopoly on sales, establishing a minimum age for cannabis purchasing consumption, limits on availability, a pricing policy to curb demand for cannabis, curtailing high-risk products and formulations, prohibiting marketing advertising and sponsorship, clearly displaying product information, addressing and preventing cannabis impaired driving, enhancing access to treatment options, and an investment in education and prevention The evidence is clear it's time to reconsider our approach to cannabis control

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