Canadian Medical Association Recommends Minimum Age of 21 to Smoke Cannabis

Article by Catherine Cullen, CBC News

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The national organization that represents physicians says Canadians shouldn’t be legally allowed to smoke pot until they are 21 and should face restrictions on the quantity and potency of the drug until they are 25.

It’s just one of a long list of recommendations the Canadian Medical Association made in its submission to the marijuana task force, which will advise the federal government on legalization. The CMA provided a copy of that submission to CBC News.

The question of age limits will be a significant one for Justin Trudeau’s government as it develops its legalization plans. He and his party have repeatedly insisted legalization is the best way to keep pot out of the hands of young people, arguing the current system fails in that regard and funnels the profits to organized crime.

The CMA said in the submission that ideally the legal limit would be 25, because the brain is still developing until about that age. But the group said a lower legal age is needed to keep youth from turning to criminals to buy pot.

In the meantime, limits on how much pot a young person can buy and how strong it should be would discourage sharing with underage friends, said the CMA in its submission.

The legal drinking age is set by each province and territory, but the CMA suggested the legal age for pot consumption should be set nationally to reduce enforcement problems near territorial and/or provincial borders.

The group, which represents some 83,000 physicians, also called for a public education campaign and harm reduction measures to counter myths like marijuana is not addictive or pot can actually make people better drivers.

Read full article here.

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