The federal government has madethe use of non-medical cannabis(marijuana) legal for anyone 18 andolder.
The federal government’s new lawsare strict in order to:
•;Keep cannabis out of the handsof youth
•;Reduce the burden marijuana use hason the justice system
•;Cut profits to organized crime
•;Impose quality control on theproducts sold.
In Alberta, the provincialgovernment is also making strict rulesabout where cannabis can be sold, towhom and where it can be used. Citiesand towns are also adjusting theirbylaws to control marijuana’s saleand use. Expect these rules to be fullyenforced.
Canada’s changes to cannabis laws
follow a 2016 campaign promise. The
Liberal Party vowed to make non-
medical use of cannabis legal this
year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s
government introduced legislation in
April 2017, and it was passed by the
Senate in June 2018.
The federal government has statedthat the previous ban on non-medicalmarijuana was not working. Canadiansuse cannabis at some of the highestrates in the world. In 2015, one in fiveyouths and nearly one-third of youngadults said they used cannabis withinthe last year.
Meanwhile, Canadians convicted
of having even small quantities are
saddled with a criminal record. Going
after these charges puts a costly burden
on the criminal justice system. And
proceeds from the illegal drug trade
support organized crime, threatening
public safety. Legalizing and regulating
cannabis is meant to take it out of the
hands of criminals.
Dr. Gerry Predy is AHS’ formersenior medical officer of health andsenior medical director for Population,Public and Indigenous Health forAlberta Health Services. He says AHSis focusing on:
•;The possible harm of cannabis smoketo lungs
•;The danger of mixing cannabis withalcohol or other drugs
•;The risks associated with pregnancy
•;The risks to those with a familyhistory of mental illness.
“(Now that) it’s legal, people aregoing to use it,” Predy says.
The information AHS provideswill help Albertans understand whatmarijuana use means to them and theirfamilies. |a
Canadians are aboutto enter a majorsocialexperi ment
APPLESPECIAL EDI TION 2018
On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada becomes one of the few countries in the
world where non-medical use of cannabis is legal. It’s a big shift,
although more than 20 per cent of Canadians say they’ve already
used the drug. Few users fully know how pot can affect their health.
We look at the risks from several angles.
WRITTEN BY DOUG FIRBY
Questions and answersabout your health