Article by Solomon Israel, The Leaf News
The Quebec government’s plan to raise the legal age for using cannabis to 21 from 18 is drawing the ire of some public-health experts, who say the move will backfire.
The legislation introduced Wednesday morning is just the second bill from the new Coalition Avenir Québec government, which decimated the Liberals in the province’s October general election.
Raising the age for cannabis was part of the CAQ’s campaign platform, but the new bill goes further than that. It will also prohibit the possession of marijuana on university and college campuses (with an exception for university residences), ban Quebec’s government-owned Société québécoise du cannabis stores from opening within 250 metres of those campuses, and add new prohibitions on where cannabis can be used.
On Wednesday, Quebec Premier François Legault implored young people not to use cannabis, saying in French the drug is dangerous.
But raising the age to legally use marijuana to 21 could also expose young Quebecers to risks, said addictions researcher Jean-Sébastien Fallu, an associate professor at the University of Montreal’s school of psychoeducation.