Colorado's Chief Health Officer Says No Big Issues For Weed Legalization
Dr. Larry Wolk, the chief health officer of Colorado told Island Morning host Matt Rainnie that several Canadians have asked him for weed-related advice in the run-up to Canadian legalization.
Canada plans to legalize weed on July 1, 2018, and some of our friends up north have had concerns about how this will affect the country. So what has Wolk been telling them? Well, according to Wolk, it is very simple. Colorado hasn't experienced any significant issues as a result of legalization.
"The short answer is we haven't seen much," Wolk told the CBC radio host.
There have been various concerns surrounding legalization in Canada, one of them being that children might have more access to marijuana if it is legalized. However, as we've seen this is far from the truth. Teenage marijuana use has actually been in decline since marijuana was recreationally legalized in certain U.S. states.
That being said, Wolk did have some advice for Canada going into legalization.
One of the issues Canada has faced has been in deciding what the legal age should be for marijuana. Currently, consumers are required to be 18 years old to purchase cannabis however, individual provinces have the option to increase this age at their discretion.
"Biologically, we know the correct age should be 25," Wolk advised. "Nineteen may be a little too young, I mean because, again, of the developing brain issues, but if that's the legal drinking age, and you already have a high prevalence... then it may make sense to align that with the legal drinking age."
Wolk also pointed out that there are some grey areas when it comes to cannabis legalization, particularly when it comes to stoned driving.
Ontario already has a zero-tolerance policy for stoned driving. This could set the tone for the rest of the country. There has also been significant research into cannabis-specific breathalyzers which could be hitting the streets very soon.
It seems reassurance was the tone of the message sent by Colorado's Chief Health Officer. Whilst cannabis legalization can have a hugely beneficial effect in terms of the local economy, it seems not much else has changed in Colorado since it was legalized in 2014. We say go for it, Canada.
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