Doctors divided on details of Marijuana Legalization in Canada

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 29, 2016.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has asked doctors for their opinions on legalization of marijuana for recreational use. He is s about to hear an earful from them. However, the country’s doctors are divided on a number of issues in this regard.

Most importantly, majority of physicians do not want selling of marijuana in pharmacies and urge the federal government to control the quantity of THC in the product.

Jeff Blackmer, Vice President of Canadian Medical Association (CMA), said after the Liberal government announced plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, the CMA was asked to collect the views of the doctors for which an electronic poll was conducted.

A total of 788 doctors, or 19 per cent of the association’s membership, responded to the poll, Blackmer added. As many as 43 per cent believe there should be a single regulatory regime, meaning no distinction between medicinal and non-medicinal use, while 39 per cent support a dual regime.

In the query of how recreational marijuana should be made available, the majority of respondents, about 56 percent, favored using existing mechanisms such as liquor stores. On the other hand a similar majority, around 57.1 per cent, opposed using pharmacies or other health care settings.

Regarding the minimum legal age for recreational use of marijuana, age 21 was the most popular response with 45.4 per cent viewed while a sizeable numbers of respondents favored a younger age and 20.3 per cent said it should be over age 25.

Doctors are equally split on whether people should be allowed to grow their own non-medical marijuana.  Asked where people should be allowed to consume non-medical marijuana, 80 per cent said their homes, 36 per cent said designated public places and 43 per cent said wherever tobacco is permitted.

The CMA will soon submit its concerns to the federal government regarding the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the country.

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