Minimum Age for Legal Marijuana Should be 25, Canadian Public Health Agency Says

Article by Amanda Pfeffer, CBC News

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Ottawa’s public health agency believes the minimum age for buying legal marijuana should be set at 25, according to a submission it sent to the federal task force examining what legalization will look like in Canada.

The submission, sent earlier this summer and to be tabled before the Ottawa Board of Health on Oct. 17, includes some 33 recommendations on minimizing harm, establishing a safe way to produce and distribute marijuana, accessing marijuana for medical purposes and ensuring public safety.

Setting a minimum age for the drug was one of the most discussed issues among the 28 health agencies working together to share ideas on the issue, according to Gillian Connelly, manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with OPH.

“We wanted to ensure that we’re reducing access for youth,” explained Connelly.

“One of the things that the research clearly demonstrates is that early access to cannabis can have detrimental affects for brain development and the brain develops up to age 25.”

OPH also suggests the minimum should be Canada-wide and “must be coupled with rigorous enforcement and penalties for violations in order to be effective.”

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