Canadian Mental Health Association Wants Restrictions on Pot

While licensed producers of cannabis in Canada lobby the government for leniency on product advertising, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has taken the opposite approach.

In a report released Monday, the Ontario division of the CMHA provided various recommendations to the Ontario government regarding adult-use marijuana regulations. One of these suggestions was a restriction on advertising like those placed on the tobacco industry.

“The risk is that legalization of cannabis may lead to an increase in use among Ontarians,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA in a news release.

Among the list of recommendations is a “zero tolerance” policy on using marijuana in any motorized vehicle for drivers or passengers. The CMHA also proposed that the minimum age in Ontario should be 19 and those who distribute legal pot be required to engage in a cannabis education program. This program would be similar to the Smart Serve course that is mandatory for anyone serving alcohol.

As well, the report recommended that some revenue from marijuana sales be earmarked to fund mental health and addiction services as well as public awareness campaigns. Education on cannabis should begin “as early as possible” for children and have “age appropriate content.”

The report also wants the establishment of a regulatory agency such as a “cannabis control board” to issue proper permits for the sale and consumption of pot.

“More research needs to occur about the impact of cannabis on a young person’s development,” said Quenneville.

All Canadian provinces are currently in the process of creating their individual frameworks for the impending sale of adult-use cannabis scheduled for July 2018.


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