According to Dr Diane Kelsall, interim editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the current bill on marijuana does not do enough to protect the vulnerable youth.
She says that there are a number of things in the bill that are problematic and which should be changed immediately.
Canadian youth have come on top in a research that tracked cannabis consumption in young people in North America and Europe, according to Canadian Pediatric Society.
The current bill has several flaws to it, editorial notes, which are: the minimum age for buying marijuana is 18 which is thought to be too young as the brain is still developing until the age of 25. Growing pot at home could increase the chances of younger people getting to it. There are no national standards for retail distribution and there are no limits on the potency of the strains that can be bought.
Minister Jane Philpott was asked if she is prepared to make the changes to the bill, especially the age limit to which she said that there will be opportunities to make adjustments to the bill as it is still not done with the legislative process. She also stated that just because a product is being made legal, that certainly does not mean it is advisable or even recommended for use.
Psychiatrist Romina Mizrah, from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto studies brain changes in young people under cannabis use. She notes that there are certain epidemiological studies that indicate that marijuana is a trigger and its use can predate psychosis. However, it is not clear whether marijuana use actually causes psychosis, which a completely different question and still unanswered.
Studies do, however, show that there are physical and functional changes found in the brains that are still developing. Those changes indicate damage to the brain with regular usage of marijuana. These studies are still not indicating any final conclusion, but they do warn that there needs to be a high level of caution when it comes to legalizing substances and making it available to a large array of young people.