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May 18, 2016
Public health approach recommended on the legalization and regulation of non-medical cannabis
  
Following the Government of Canada's recent commitment to legalize and regulate the non-medical use of cannabis, Toronto Public Health is presenting a report to the Toronto Board of Health recommending a public health approach to regulation. 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.

More information is available at http://bit.ly/23XipvA.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
Lenore Bromley
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7974
lbromle@toronto.ca

 

 

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