Toronto Public Health is presenting a report to the Toronto Board of Health recommending a public health approach on the legalization and regulation of non-medical cannabis. The report will be presented to the Toronto Board of Health at its May 30 meeting.
“Designing a regulatory approach for non-medical cannabis is complex,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “We are therefore urging the federal government to use an evidence-based public health approach that builds on the lessons learned from regulating tobacco and alcohol. This approach will help reduce potential health harms for the population as a whole.”
While there are therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis, there are also health harms, particularly for frequent and heavy use of cannabis, including:
• health and safety impacts associated with impaired driving
• exposure to cancer-causing chemicals and other harmful byproducts associated with cannabis smoke
• poor respiratory health, including bronchitis and some cancers, linked with long-term cannabis smoking
• impacts on mental health from frequent and heavy cannabis use, especially if there is a genetic predisposition, and
• impacts on adolescent brain development.
The approach to regulating non-medical cannabis that is being proposed to the Toronto Board of Health includes providing strong government regulatory control on availability and accessibility, setting a minimum purchase age, minimizing promotion, ensuring strong impaired driving policies, and restricting use in public places. – CINEWS