CAMH, Canada’s leading mental health and addictions teaching hospital has advocated for reform of Canada’s system of cannabis control. In 2014, we released a Cannabis Policy Framework recommending a public health approach to cannabis. We examined the evidence around the risks and harms associated with cannabis use and concluded that legalization, accompanied by strict health-focused regulation, is the most promising means of reducing those risks and harms. For these reasons we are pleased that Canada is moving ahead with an approach to cannabis that has public health and safety at its core.
There is still much work to be done. To achieve the objective of keeping people safe, especially young people, it is critical that cannabis policy be designed – and maintained – with health and safety as the primary and overriding objective. There is also a need to ensure that the public knows about the risks involved in cannabis use, and how to reduce them. It will also be important that the new system be monitored and evaluated, and that we be prepared to alter course if necessary. CAMH remains committed to working with our partners in the months ahead.