Teen marijuana use Common because of Canadian Drug Policy

Apr 16, 2013

The high rate of mar­i­juana use among Canada’s youth is a by-product of strict drug con­trol, pot activist and BC Green Party can­di­date Jodie Emery said. Canada has the high­est rate of cannabis use among young peo­ple in devel­oped coun­tries, accord­ing to a recent report by UNICEF. In Canada, 28 per cent of kids aged 11, 13 and 15 reported hav­ing used cannabis in the last 12 months. The data comes from a 2009–2010 World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) sur­vey of 29 devel­oped coun­tries. Canada also had the high­est rates of youth mar­i­juana use in a sim­i­lar WHO sur­vey con­ducted eight years prior, but the rate has gone down from 40 per cent to 28 per cent. While the sit­u­a­tion may have improved, young peo­ple con­tinue to use cannabis at a very high rate, despite laws against it. In the Nether­lands, a coun­try known for its relaxed drug pol­icy, only 17 per cent of youth said they used cannabis. Emery said that this actu­ally makes sense. “In coun­tries with more lib­eral drug laws, the use of mar­i­juana and other drugs is lower,” she said, a view that cor­re­sponds to the report’s find­ings. Emery argued that the legal­iza­tion and reg­u­la­tion of drugs help con­trol the sub­stance and keep it out of the hands of young peo­ple. When drugs are ille­gal, they’re con­trolled by crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions, and gangs “give it to any­one who wants it,” she said. Fur­ther, these gangs make money off of pro­hib­ited drugs, so Emery asserts that politi­cians who sup­port pro­hi­bi­tion are in fact sup­port­ing gangs. The health impacts of mar­i­juana use are lim­ited, and Emery says it’s no worse than alco­hol, but a crim­i­nal record due to drug pos­ses­sion can have a life-long impact. “The law causes more harm to young peo­ple than does the sub­stance itself, Emery stated. “That needs to change.” Emery makes it clear that she doesn’t con­done mar­i­juana use among chil­dren, and cited a report that sug­gested 16 could be an appro­pri­ate min­i­mum age for mar­i­juana use. The 2002 report, from a spe­cial com­mit­tee to the Cana­dian Sen­ate, rec­om­mended the legal­iza­tion and reg­u­la­tion of mar­i­juana. It said cannabis laws should only pro­hibit what causes demon­stra­ble harm to oth­ers: ille­gal traf­fick­ing, impaired dri­ving, and sell­ing it to peo­ple under the age of six­teen. Last Novem­ber, a poll by Forum Research found that 65 per cent of Cana­di­ans sup­port the legal­iza­tion or decrim­i­nal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana. And yet, mar­i­juana remains banned, with an excep­tion for med­ical use. Emery and many other pro­po­nents of legal­iza­tion sug­gest that Canada fol­low the exam­ple of Wash­ing­ton state, which voted in Novem­ber to legal­ize mar­i­juana. The state will be reg­u­lat­ing the sale of mar­i­juana, while ban­ning sales to young peo­ple, in the same way that alco­hol is reg­u­lated. Source: http://​www​.van​cou​ver​ob​server​.com/​l​i​f​e​/​h​e​a​l​t​h​/​t​e​e​n​-​m​a​r​i​j​u​a​n​a​-​u​s​e​-​c​o​m​m​o​n​-​b​e​c​a​u​s​e​-​c​a​n​a​d​i​a​n​-​d​r​u​g​-​p​o​l​i​c​y​-​s​a​y​s​-​p​o​t​-​a​c​t​i​v​ist Author: Chris Lane

2d429996dd00x275.jpg 150x103 Teen marijuana use Common because of Canadian Drug Policy

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Teen mar­i­juana use Com­mon because of Cana­dian Drug Policy

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