Cannabis: the public health Institute suggests a gradual access for young people

Cannabis: l'Institut de santé publique suggère un accès graduel pour les jeunes

Opposite to the increase of the age of cannabis consumption from 18 to 21 years, the national Institute of public health of Quebec (INSQ) now offers a compromise : a program of gradual access to legal products for the 18-to-20 years.

In its submission on Wednesday before the commission of health and social services, in charge of studying the bill 2, the INSQ warns against the effects of “non-desirable” to increase the legal drinking age to 21 years.

The youth, who are the main users of cannabis, would be more likely to be “judicialized”, they would consume the marijuana from underground sources and without quality control, in addition to being exposed to dealers that can offer them to other substances potentially more risky.

For the past several months, the cannabis divides the experts, who are torn between the need to increase the legal age for protecting the brain of young people and to ensure that these youth have access at the age of 18 years of the controlled products regulations and education programs.

The solution to get out of this impasse, believes the INSQ is to provide access to products with lower THC content for people of 18 to 20 years.

The government of Quebec could then choose to allow a partial access to the range of products offered to the quebec Society of cannabis (SQDC), and to limit the quantities.

Young people aged 18 to 20 years would, therefore, offer only of cannabis whose concentration of THC would be lower, not only than what is sold on the illicit market, but also on the legal market.

The INSQ recommends that they are allowed only on products sold by the SQDC containing not more than 10% of THC, for a maximum amount of 10 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in other forms.

The cannabis sold in the SQDC currently includes products whose THC content reaches nearly 30 %.

The institute considers that this initiative would send a message of caution to the general population about products with a high THC content, which pose increased risks of mental health problems, including psychosis.

Yes to the consumer public

The bill 2 the government aims both to raise the age of cannabis consumption from 18 to 21 years old ban on the public highway.

On this second point, the Institute of public health is clear : it is necessary to keep the permission to consume it in public.

There is no evidence to say that cannabis smoke is released into the outdoor spaces, although odorous and unpleasant, would be detrimental to the health of exposed individuals, according to its researchers.

A complete ban on consumption in public places would have the effect of direct smoking of cannabis to places closed, what is considered worse for health.

In addition, smoking in the home would be detrimental to the relatives, incommoderait the neighbors and violate the lease, while smoking outside would put the person in a position of offence, would be liable to sanctions and will engage in a judicial process, deplores the INSQ, who fears that consumers are finally turning to the edible products, for which the legalisation is announced by the federal government to October 2019.

The effects of delayed, prolonged, and less easily predictable of edible products that pose particular issues of road safety and safety in the workplace, note the INSQ, who considered it crucial to address this issue also in its presentation on Wednesday.

The expertise of the INSQ in the case of cannabis is based on its oversight activities and monitoring, toxicology, and health promotion and prevention.

It is also built from the expertise developed in the field of regulation of alcohol and tobacco.

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