The Center for addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s largest drug treatment center, says marijuana laws in Canada are doing nothing to keep Canadians safe or drug free. Instead, they say legalizing, taxing and heavily regulating who can access the plant is the best course of actions.
“Canada’s current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use,” Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH said in a radio interview this week. “Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use.”
The move isn’t to say that the addiction center finds pot harmless, though. In fact, it’s the opposite of that. But they feel that regulating it will keep it out of the hands of kids and teens. Oh, and those with histories of personal injury or mental illness. They also don’t want you to be able to grow it at home.
So, they want it treated like a pharmaceutical drug, basically.
“Cannabis use is associated with a variety of health harms like problems with cognitive and psychomotor functioning, respiratory issues, cannabis dependence and mental illness,” the report says. “For this reason, any reform of Canada’s system of cannabis control must include a strong focus on prevention and a range of interventions aimed at groups that are at higher risk of harm, including youth and people with a personal or family history of mental illness.”
Read more about the CAMH position in their helpful demographic below:
Thankfully, this is just one group’s opinion and not a legislative proposal. But with CAMH’s influence, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of their ideas pop up in future legislation as Canada works to create a new drug policy.