On September 8th, 2017 the Ontario government announced its approach to cannabis legalization and regulation. As part of their engagement process, the Ministry of Attorney General requested CMHA Ontario to provide recommendations, many of which were incorporated, including:
- Purchase of recreational cannabis at 19 years of age.
- Decriminalize youth possession under five grams of dried cannabis, with higher amounts confiscated by the police; this ensures youth will not have contact with the justice system, and the focus will be on prevention, diversion and harm reduction.
- Strict packaging guidelines.
- Cannabis retail staff being trained to provide accurate information to consumers
- Restricting consumption in public places, workplaces and when inside a motor vehicle.
CMHA Ontario continues to encourage the government to direct all revenue generated from cannabis sales into increasing the breadth and depth of Ontario’s mental health and addictions services. We also strongly recommend that public health awareness cannabis regarding the cannabis harms start immediately.
The following news organizations interviewed CMHA Ontario on the announcement:
To read more about CMHA Ontario ‘Cannabis Legalization and Regulation’, download the full report.