Ahead of legalization, N.B. doctors release education program on marijuana health risks
New Brunswick needs to learn about the dangers of marijuana, the province’s medical society said on Monday.
They’re launching a new public awareness campaign ahead of federal legalization that is set to come down next year.
“The legalization of marijuana doesn’t make it safe. It is important for people in New Brunswick to understand the risks,” said Dr. Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck, the president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, in a press release on Monday.
“The health risks inherent with the use of marijuana are clear, particularly for younger people. Like tobacco and alcohol, marijuana use can lead to negative health impacts.”
The society has created a website, www.LegalNotSafe.ca, that is supposed to provide New Brunswickers with a better understanding of the health risks associated with using marijuana.
Some of the information on the medical society’s website includes; that marijuana can cause “depression and anxiety in adolescents and adults,” and that smoking marijuana creates the “same toxins and cancer-causing chemicals as smoking cigarettes.”
A specially selected committee is conducting hearings throughout New Brunswick, ahead of the province finalizing its regulatory scheme.
“We are concerned that the health risks inherent with marijuana are being lost in the face of anticipation of new tax revenues for the provincial government,” said Murphy-Kaulbeck.
“Marijuana has real health risks, and New Brunswick’s doctors want our patients to recognize this fact before legalization comes into effect.”
Earlier this year, the society released a list of recommendations on what they believe would minimize harm to the public.
They asked the government to set the legal age to buy marijuana at 21 — although they had hoped to set the limit at 25 before recognizing that it was an unrealistic goal.
An interim report released last month revealed that New Brunswick is considering setting the minimum age to buy pot at 19, regulating and selling cannabis through a crown corporation and setting the personal possession limit at 30 grams.
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