Time to get ready for le­gal pot

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPIN­ION -

This ap­peared in the Hal­i­fax Chron­i­cle Her­ald:

If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, Canada’s new mar­i­juana law will take ef­fect in July 2018.

Stud­ies have shown ado­les­cents are par­tic­u­larly at risk due to the fact their brains are con­tin­u­ing to de­velop and at a rapid pace. It’s wise to take into con­sid­er­a­tion that re­search has shown that chronic mar­i­juana us­age is linked to mem­ory and at­ten­tion dif­fi­cul­ties, promi­nently among in­di­vid­u­als who started use while in early ado­les­cence.

The Cana­dian Cen­tre of Sub­stance Abuse is con­cerned that heavy use raises the risk of psy­chosis, de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, as well as res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions.

The Cana­dian Pae­di­atric So­ci­ety cau­tions there are sev­eral risks for young peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the recre­ational use of mar­i­juana.

Dr. Chris­tine Grant, an ado­les­cent medicine spe­cial­ist at McMaster Univer­sity, who co-au­thored the so­ci­ety’s po­si­tion pa­per on mar­i­juana use stated: “We know that our brains de­velop well into our 20s and also from sci­ence that cannabis has an ef­fect both struc­turally and func­tion­ally on our brains and that when our brains are de­vel­op­ing we’re most vul­ner­a­ble.”

We need to pro­vide youth with an un­der­stand­ing that they should de­lay mar­i­juana use. The rea­sons are many and the risks are too great.

We are about a year from this new world. The time to ed­u­cate is now, so we are bet­ter pre­pared to deal with the real health risks of the new le­gal and so­cial trans­for­ma­tion of mar­i­juana use.

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