Public health officials contend that smoking cannabis is as harmful as tobacco, but welcome the opportunity legalization affords for open dialogue. The legalization aims to curb the black market and use by youth. Police, meanwhile, are scrambling to prepare for a predicted rise in drug-impaired driving and are not yet ready to lay three new charges, which require blood tests within two hours of being pulled over to show above-limit levels of THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis. “As a doctor and as a father, I do not agree with the legalization of recreational cannabis,” said Antonio Vigano, a medical marijuana specialist and research director at the Sante Cannabis clinic in Montreal, citing the risk of increased consumption among young people. “There are health concerns,” Gillian Connelly of the Ottawa Public Health Agency told AFP. “But legalization is creating an opportunity to have discussions about cannabis use, for example, parents starting a conversation with their kids about it.” “For decades, we’ve said: ‘Just don’t use,’ but that hasn’t worked,” she said. This failed messaging has helped to make Canadians among the highest per capita users of cannabis, with 4.6 million or one in eight having consumed pot this year (including… Read full this story
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