When Canada legalized recreational cannabis use, the federal government stated that it was taking a public health approach and that the Cannabis Act had three main goals: to “keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, keep profits out of the pockets of criminals, [and] protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal cannabis.”
PRI has contributed our assessment of progress made on the federal Cannabis Act’s objectives so far and the areas of focus and action we believe are critical to improving the legislation.
In our submission, we shared our research and experience with the students who come to Pine River:
“More than 16 years of rigorous impact assessments have shown that cannabis is traditionally the drug of choice for adolescents coming to PRI, with 75% of youth admitted to the program in 2021 stating it is their substance of choice. It is not unusual that youth entering our program have had experience with cannabis-induced psychosis. This is why we have paid particular attention to the modalities of legalization.”
We also made clear PRI’s calls to action:
“Pre-legalization, we focused on two elements as absolute requirements to best protect our youth. First, an effective public education approach must be developed and sustained to provide reliable information about the effects of cannabis on the developing brain. Second, a commitment to invest in additional treatment resources for youth from the government proceeds of cannabis sales, whether that be through taxation or commercial activities.”
You can read PRI’s full submission here.