Cannabis Use Guidelines, Pushed By Public Health Journals

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Canadian researchers have come up with guidelines for a safer use of marijuana in Canada. This is in response to the widespread illegal use of this narcotic drug. Said Benedikt Fischer, who pioneered the peer reviewed study that developed the marijuana use protocol, “Given the prevalence and age distribution of cannabis use in Canada, a public health approach to cannabis use is overdue.”

At a global pace, the World Health Organization found out that Cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked and abused illicit drug. Half of all drug seizures worldwide are cannabis seizures. About 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consume cannabis (annual prevalence) compared with 0.2% consuming cocaine and 0.2% consuming opiates. The most rapid growth in cannabis abuse since the 1960s has been in developed countries in North America, Western Europe and Australia.

More than one out of ten adults in Canada and about one out of every three people aged 16-25 years old reported using Cannabis for the past year, that is according to the data gathered for the research. Says the study, despite the public health risks associated with the use of marijuana and its prevalence, the Canadian government has not yet stepped up in approaching the issue. Unlike alcohol use, tobacco and the use of injection for drug use, marijuana use hasn’t been addressed properly yet by the government.

According to Fischer, misinformation about the use of Cannabis can be dangerous. For instance, when young marijuana users were interviewed, they stated that using marijuana while or before driving is safe. This is actually contrary to the number of traffic and road related accidents. Fischer also said that, “This resembles the situation forty years ago, when the majority of Canadians still believed it was safe to drink and drive.”

Like the alcohol consumption guidelines released by the Canadian Public Health Association in the 1990s, the “Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines” will also serve the same purpose.

One recommendation of the group in the said guidelines is to abstain from the use of Cannabis during pregnancy; and furthermore, to avoid driving about three to four hours after consumption of cannabis.

In the said guidelines, the researchers also mentioned that using cannabis at a young age can lead to several mental illnesses and cannabis dependence. Its frequent use may also lead to cognitive defects and memory performance related difficulties.

According to a data from the CBC News Online, “the number of Canadians who used marijuana in 2002, according to Statistics Canada nears 3 million. That’s about 12 per cent of the population older than 15, up from seven per cent in 1989. The Canadian Medical Association estimates that about 1.5 million Canadians smoke marijuana recreationally.”

In terms of medical use, “582 Canadians have Ottawa’s permission to smoke marijuana for medical reasons, as of July 9, 2003. Health Canada said it had received a total of 1,145 applications from people wishing to legally smoke since the medical marijuana access regulations came into effect in 2001. Thirty-five to 50 new applications are received each month.”





  1. Jillian Galloway says:

    “Use” does not always mean “abuse”! Does every person who uses alcohol abuse it? How about every person who uses candy or sodas?? In truth, the vast majority of marijuana consumers use the herb safely without ever abusing it!

    Keeping marijuana illegal makes it easily accessible by minors and *increases* their chance of coming into contact with drug dealers – this makes the legalization of adult marijuana sales a *parent* issue! It is far safer for our children to have supermarkets selling legally-grown marijuana to adults at prices low enough to prevent illegal competition, than it is to have drug dealers selling marijuana to children!

    The power to keep our children safe is in OUR hands! Parents need to speak up for legalizing adult marijuana sales.

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