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Canadian Doctors Conflicted On Legal Age For Marijuana Use

The debate about whether or not marijuana should be legalized in Canada continues on. The latest piece is determining what the minimum age should be for purchasing weed. How young is too young?

The Canadian medical association conducted a survey of 788 doctors to explore week usage in the country in anticipation of the federal government legalizing marijuana. According to the study, Canadian doctors are divided when it comes to determining what the legal weed-using age should be. 35 per cent were in favour of 18 or 19 being the minimum legal age, 45 per cent of participants favoured 21, while a fifth of those surveyed stated the minimum age should be 25. However, the key take away from this survey was that 87 percent of doctors think that there needs to be more medical research into the potential health risks of marijuana.Critics of legalizing marijuana are concerned about the potential risks smoking weed can have on young developing brains. Which, presumably, is why one fifth of respondents want the legal age to be 25.

An article in The Globe and Mail further highlights the differences in opinion many doctors have over marijuana. Chris Milburn, a physician from Sydney, Nova Scotia, thinks that doctors are too complacent about marijuana use by their patients. However, Ashley Miller of St. John’s stated that she’s not so sure that weed is as harmful as other recreational drugs such as alcohol. She also stated that “the role of physicians is to give patients the best information possible to reduce harm”, and pleaded with the CMA to provide practical evidence that will aid in daily practice.

Even though the Liberal federal government wants to legalize marijuana, it’s becoming clear that there are a number of different factors that need to be addressed before it becomes totally legalized. Take a look at this article from The Globe and Mail to learn more about the divide in opinion on the subject.

Featured image source: Next Avenue

Story source: The Globe and Mail, Vice

Ashley Maniw

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