TORONTO, April 18, 2017 – As Canada’s leading academic health science centre specializing in addiction and mental health, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has long advocated for reform of Canada’s system of cannabis control. In 2014, CAMH released a Cannabis Policy Framework, which called for cannabis to be legalized and regulated using a public health approach. CAMH is pleased that the federal government has moved forward and introduced legislation emphasizing principles of public health in its approach to legalization.
Many important decisions, including the minimum age for legal purchase, levels of taxation and pricing, the design of the distribution system, and the details of advertising and promotion restrictions are still to be determined, and these decisions and their implementation will involve different levels of government. CAMH encourages all levels of government to apply a health lens to their preparations for a legal and carefully regulated cannabis market and to move quickly to educate the public about the risks associated with cannabis use, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.