Only 2% of clients of the québec Society of cannabis (SQDC) are aged 18 to 20 years, and 10% were between 18 and 24 years of age, revealed on Tuesday the deputy Health minister, Lionel Carmant.
The first day of public consultations on the draft law from 18 to 21 years old the legal age to consume cannabis, the minister Carmant was keen to “debunk” some myths “stubborn”.
For example, according to him, it is wrong to claim that the government will deliver the youth to organized crime if it enhances the legal drinking age to 21 years.
It is also false, according to the minister, to claim that the drug sold to the SQDC is “safe”. Its concentration of THC can reach more than 20 %.
At such a concentration, the product increases dramatically the risk of psychosis, a disorder physiological that can lead to schizophrenia.
The legislator therefore has a “duty” to delay the most possible the age of initiation to cannabis, he pleaded.
Pass of arms
Mr. Carmant immediately stumbled to the liberal critic for health, André Fortin, who, in his preliminary remarks, has called the consultation a “sham” and “gagging”.
“I remain willing to consider any means by which we will be proposed, which could achieve the same purpose : to keep our young people away from the THC,” said the minister.
The two men crossed the iron and caused sparks, M. Fortin denouncing the fact that the government has denied that some groups participate in public consultations.
“What begins today, it is a fiscal phony, a sham, a gagging of groups who want to express themselves. This consultation-there, it is false, it is limited and it is an exercise in public relations”, has he hammered.
For his part, mp pq Sylvain Gaudreault has denounced the lack of coherence in government. Why not secure the legal age to consume cannabis at the age of majority and to consume alcohol, if it is asked.
Sol Zanetti, member of parliament for Québec solidaire, went a step further by saying that the government’s draft bill caquiste was simply “infantilizing”. Young people “have a brain” and are able to think and make choices, he meant.
The detox centres Portage, they indicated that they had, good year, bad year, 500 teens from 14 to 18 years.
Of this number, 88 % have problems with addiction to cannabis, according to the vice-president, operations and administration, Marc Berwald, who supports the government in its approach.
“We are confronted daily with the devastating impacts of the abusive use of cannabis”, he recounted.
For its part, the Federation of student collégiale du Québec has called for the legal drinking age be maintained at 18 years.