Canadian doctors say it's time to talk about the impacts of marijuana use on health.
The Canadian Medical Association called Thursday for a strong public health approach to legalizing marijuana.
The group aims to:
- Prevent drug abuse and dependency.
- Ensure assessment, counselling and treatment services are available for those who wish to stop using.
- Increase safety for vulnerable groups such as young people, pregnant women and those with psychological and psychiatric illnesses.
In people with psychological and psychiatric illnesses, marijuana can precipitate seizures and in some cases psychosis, said Dr. Granger Avery, CMA president. "That's why we made the recommendations about age and restricting access to certain groups."
As legalization approaches, Dr. Robert Tanguay, a pain psychiatrist in Calgary, is focused on educating people as a form of prevention.
"I think the addiction medicine part of me is saying, 'You know, decriminalization is a good idea and legalization is a good idea,'" said Tanguay. "The psychiatrist in me is saying we have to be careful."
Contrary to perception among some, marijuana isn't neutral or inert in its effect on people, Tanguay said.
Read more at http://www.cbc.ca