OTTAWA, Oct. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - On October 17, the Cannabis Act came into force, puttingin place a new legal framework for cannabis. This fundamental shift to a new legal approach is an important step in reducing harms to Canadians and removing the burden and stigma of criminalization.
As with other regulated substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is not harmless. While there is some evidence of potential therapeutic uses for cannabis, the long-term effects remain unknown, and more research needs to be done.
Cannabis can be addictive, and frequent use can cause harm to your physical and mental health. In fact, close to 10% of adults who have ever used cannabis will develop cannabis use disorder. The younger you are when you start using cannabis, and the more often and the longer you use it, the more likely that it will have a negative impact on your brain.
This is why, collectively, we are stressing the importance of following guidelines for lower-risk cannabis use in order to reduce the risk of harms to the health of Canadians. That includes avoiding illegal cannabis and purchasing only from retailers authorized by provinces and territories.
If you choose to use cannabis or are considering using cannabis, follow the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:
In addition to the above guidelines, we recommend that you:
An important aspect of a public health approach to cannabis is to monitor and evaluate the impact that these new policies will have on the health and social well-being of Canadians over time, something we are committed to doing.
As Canada's Chief Medical Officers of Health, we encourage all those who use cannabis or who are considering using cannabis to be aware of the ways they can minimize the potential negative impacts of cannabis use.
Get informed. Protect your health and the health of your family.
Dr. Theresa Tam Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
Dr. Bonnie Henry Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
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