Pot legislation does not fail Canada’s youth. A criminal record does

The rationale for legalization is not solely about individual-level health outcomes as potential “harms,” but also the social and legal harms associated with criminalization and prohibition
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Canadian Medical Association Journal released an editorial criticizing the government’s approach to the protection of youth in the proposed Cannabis Act. The editorial took issue with the Act’s mandated minimum age of at least 18. It argued that the minimum age should be raised to 21 and use restricted until age 25, concluding with: “If Parliament truly cares about the public health and safety of Canadians, especially our youth, this bill will not pass.” This is part of an ongoing narrative which misrepresents what it means to take a “public health approach” to drug regulation. Fundamental to a public health approach is an emphasis on the costs of having a criminal record for cannabis possession for young Canadians.