Article by Chelsea Chen, The McGill Tribune
Following a history of prohibition and criminalization since 1923, the legalization of marijuana will soon be brought to a vote in Canada. The Liberal government will be announcing their new legislation in the spring of 2017, in line with their current platform.
A nine-member task force of experts was formed to advise the Canadian government on how to best move forward with its plan to legalize marijuana. The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation has engaged with the public, government officials, indigenous peoples, youth, and health experts across Canada. Dr. Mark Ware, a cannabinoid researcher and a professor of Family Medicine at McGill, is the vice-chair of the task force. According to Ware, the discussion is not whether Canada should legalize marijuana, but how to best legalize it.
“We haven’t made any recommendations,” Dr. Ware said in an email to The Tribune. “We are still deliberating on the input that we’ve received.”
Dr. Caleb Abaka Bouhairie, a McGill Medicine alumni and a Montreal physician, believes that marijuana may hold promise for patients suffering from a variety of diseases.
“From a medicinal perspective, there is a growing body of literature that describes both their harmful and their potentially beneficial effects [in treatments for] epilepsy, certain chronic pain disorders, anorexia, cachexia, glaucoma, and refractory nausea,” Dr. Bouhairie wrote in an email to The Tribune.