Politics

All eyes on Canada as first G7 nation prepares to make marijuana legal

Each country around the world that has debated whether to relax cannabis laws has had its own priority in mind: from generating revenue to discouraging drug cartels. In Canada, the emphasis has been largely on public health.

Cannabis will be sold in fairly plain packaging, and usually through government-run boards that already control liquor sales. “It won’t be like buying Budweiser or branded alcoholic products,” said Steve Rolles of Transform, a UK drug policy thinktank. “It’s going to be more like buying pharmaceuticals from a chemist.” Still, it’s hard to know whether Canada, or any similar western country, will be able to stick to that public-health focus, he said. “We have concerns … that the lessons from alcohol and tobacco wouldn’t be learned, and we might see overcommercialized markets in which profit-making entities would seek to encourage more use and could encourage risky consumption behaviours,” he said … For epidemiologists, Canada will provide the best-ever data sets on cannabis use. Colorado’s health results have been encouraging, said Wolk. But overall, researchers lack solid data about cannabis use. Some key questions include addiction levels, how cannabis affects mental health, and effects on young people, said Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam, often called the “grandfather” of cannabis research. “About 10% of the users may be addicted – less than alcohol or tobacco,” he said. “Some users, who are already prone to schizophrenia, may get the disease earlier.” He said he is also keeping an eye on whether heavy use by young people may affect their central nervous system.
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Original Article (The Guardian):
All eyes on Canada as first G7 nation prepares to make marijuana legal
Artwork Fair Use by: Public Domain

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