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Canadian health authority says legalizing marijuana is bad for the health of youth

Harold Mandel's picture

Dr. Diane Kelsall, editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Journal, states legalization of the use of cannabis in Canada would jeopardize the health of youth.


There has been a heated debate about the legalization of marijuana. There remains serious questions about the potential negative health impact of marijuana on youth which must be considered in this debate.

There have been reports of an increased risk of dysphoria and even paranoid feelings in marijuana users. These reports and others dealing with health risks associated with use of marijuana have raised questions about the advisability of legalizing the use of herb.

The health of young people will be at risk

MedicalXPress reports that the health of youth will be harmed if marijuana is legalized in Canada. Interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal has written against the legalization of marijuana in an editorial. Dr. Diane Kelsall states if the federal government of Canada's bill C-45 to legalize marijuana passes into law the health of young people will be at risk.

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Marijuana is toxic to neurons

It is the position of Dr. Diane Kelsall that cannabis simply should not be used by young people. She writes that marijuana is toxic to neurons and that developing brains of young people can actually be changed by using marijuana on a regular basis. It has been publicly stated by the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada that cannabis is not harmless and that it can have effects which are negative on the brain. This is seen as being particularly true for young brains.

Lives of many young people have been hurt by the use of marijuana

There has been evidence that the human brain continues its maturation process until the age of 25. It has therefore been recommended by the Canadian Medical Association that there should be a minimum age of 21 for the purchase and use of marijuana. The lives of many young people have been hurt by the use of marijuana and such tragedies may become more common if marijuana is legalized in Canada. There are also concerns about increased impaired driving from the use of marijuana alone, and with alcohol, if marijuana is legalized.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that cannabis legislation does not protect the youth of Canada. The federal government of Canada has been moving towards the legalization of marijuana with bill C-45. It is claimed this act will help to protect public health and safety. Critics of bill C-45 highlight the potential for harm to the health of youth with legalization of marijuana. These concerns should be taken seriously in dealing with considerations of the legalization of the use of marijuana.