Canada: Let public health drive legal marijuana process

After years of debate, it appears that we now have a federal government that is serious about legalizing marijuana. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, about a half of Peterborough's adults have tried marijuana or cannabis at least once in their lives, with more than a third of Peterborough high school students reporting the same in a recent study. The numbers of people using it on a regular basis are much lower, but there are concerns that use will increase and with that, a variety of associated harms as well.

We have an opportunity to learn from jurisdictions like Colorado or Washington states where the personal possession and retail sale of cannabis have been legalized. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) embarked on a fact finding visit of both states and released their findings this past November. Taking the time to set up the infrastructure, do the research,...

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