Legal pot isn‘t a threat to public health or safety, doctors tell Senate
published on June 26, 2018 by Nicholas Russell in Richland Standard
VANCOUVER — There‘s little evidence that legalized marijuana poses a threat to public health and safety, and there may be benefits, says a new study from Canadian doctors and researchers.
The report, submitted to the Senate this week, outlines the positive and negative impacts legalization has had in other jurisdictions.
“It hasn‘t been a public health disaster or crisis yet, but there are some key areas that we need to watch,” said Rebecca Haines-Saah, a public health specialist at the University of Calgary and one of the report‘s authors.
The federal government has promised to legalize recreational marijuana later this year under Bill C-45, which is expected to go to a final vote in the upper house Thursday.
Dr. M.J. Milloy with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use worked on the study and said researchers did not find significant declines in road safety in American states where marijuana had been legalized, but they did find a drop in alcohol sales.
They also found that rates of fatal opioid overdoses went down in some places.
“There is evidence to suggest that when legal cannabis is available, people substitute that for other substances,” he said.
“We are hopeful that we might see some of the same benefits here.”
B.C. declared a public health emergency because of overdose deaths in April 2016. The provincial coroner‘s service has said there were more than 1,400 fatal overdoses across B.C. last year.View the full article