Article by David Brown, Lift
Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott, took questions today in the Senate’s Question Period, responding to numerous questions about various issues under Health Canada’s review, including two separate questions relating to cannabis legalization.
The first question on marijuana legalization came from Senator Claude Carignan, the Conservative Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, who asked Minister Philpott why the government was rejecting the Canadian Medical Association’s’ recommendation that an age limit of 21 be set for recreational cannabis at a national level. The CMA also recommended that quantities and the potency of marijuana be more restricted to those under age 25 to discourage use and sharing with underage friends.
The second question came later from Senator Linda Frum, who asked about the international treaties Canada will be violating by legalizing marijuana. Minister Philpott told the Senate that Canada is working closely with various government agencies to address these concerns.
“The fact is that, in fact the world is looking at us very closely about this. I’ve had numerous international delegations who have come and wanted to speak to me specifically about this because it’s something that many countries around the world are very interested in. They’re watching Canada very closely, which speaks to the fact that we have got to get this legislation right.” -Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott
First, Senator Carignan characterized the government’s commitment to legalize as a rejection of this and other medical evidence showing the harms of cannabis on young brains, and said more research is needed on intoxicated driving before cannabis becomes legal.