The Cannabis Act came into action. Were there any concerns with how this was handled?
Prior to the passing of the Cannabis Act in 2018, there were several concerns raised as to the potential implications of legalizing this drug. However, ultimately the benefits of doing so for individuals and society appeared to outweigh these benefits, and the decision was made to legalize the drug nonetheless.
The first major concern was the potential accessibility of cannabis to minors. Cannabis, while generally considered to be relatively safe for adults as compared with other (at the time) illicit substances, has largely unclear and potentially harmful effects of child and adolescent neurological development. As such, ensuring that children did not have ready access to cannabis became an important component of the legalization approach. I believe this concern was handled by limiting cannabis purchasing to individuals over 19 years of age, and requiring valid identification to be presented at sites where cannabis is sold.
The second issue is that, despite its reputation for being a relatively safe substance, cannabis may have some harmful long-term effects that have yet to be fully elucidated. This is likely a result of the fact that, when cannabis was illegal, it was much more challenging for scientists to obtain ethics approval to study the effects of cannabis. I believe that legalization of cannabis may actually help to address this concern in the long-term, as scientists are able to study the substance more readily and in greater depth. Until the long-term effects of cannabis use are clarified, I believe that physicians largely do and should take a cautious approach when discussing cannabis use for both medicinal and recreational purposes - relaying both the potential benefits of using the substances, while emphasizing that much remains to be studied about its effects.