OTTAWA, Ont., June 23, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — I welcome the publication of the “Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines” today in the American Journal of Public Health. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research supported the development of these Guidelines through funding provided to the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse.
From a scientific perspective, Health Canada considers the Guidelines to be important, evidence-based information to help cannabis users reduce the health and safety risks associated with cannabis use. I commend the authors of the Guidelines, particularly Dr. Benedikt Fischer of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, for their dedication to producing this valuable resource.
On April 13, 2017, our Government introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. We are proposing a public health approach to minimize the harms associated with cannabis use. The proposed Cannabis Act focuses on protecting the health of Canadians, particularly youth.
Our Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force no later than July 2018. It will be important for those who choose to use cannabis for non-medical use to understand how they can minimize the risks of use. I take this opportunity to remind Canadians that until any legislative change occurs, it remains illegal to buy, sell, produce or possess cannabis in Canada, unless specifically authorized to do so for medical or scientific purposes.
Health Canada will explore further dissemination of the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines following the coming into force of the proposed Cannabis Act, if approved by Parliament.
Office of Jane Philpott
Minister of Health