Along with my University of Calgary colleague Dr. Matt Hill I was interviewed for this story in the New York Times, by Canadian Bureau Chief Catherine Porter. This quote was very helpful and echoes what I say frequently about seeing cannabis as the sole risk factor and cause of youth mental health or psychosocial outcomes.
“Cannabis is correlated with lots of things,” said James MacKillop, the co-director of McMaster University’s medicinal cannabis research center in Hamilton. “Teasing out whether it’s causally related is a much more complicated thing.”
“If you are using cannabis when you are 12 or 13, then there are probably lots of other things going on,” he continued. “There might be poor parental oversight, more early life stress or family disorganization.”
Canada’s Message to Teenagers: Marijuana Is Legal Now. Please Don’t Smoke It.
Cannabis is Legal in Canada – What are the implications for School Psychologists?
Rebecca Haines-Saah, PhD & Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, MPH
As of October 17th , cannabis is a legal substance in Canada. Since the announcement of plans for this policy change, concerns around potential consequences for children and youth have been front and center. Indeed, one of Canada’s – and Alberta’s – stated policy objectives for legalization is to “keep cannabis out of the hands of children.” Federal regulators plan to achieve this policy objective by enforcing a minimum age for access; enacting strict regulation around sales and marketing; and by transitioning cannabis to a legal and strictly regulated market. Like the Federal policy set forth under Bill C-45, Alberta’s provincial legislation is operating under a public health approach, with the goal of reducing the potential for harms associated with legalization. Specifically, Alberta’s policy framework includes laws to address cannabis-impaired driving, impairment in the workplace, restrictions on public consumption, and how and where cannabis is distributed and sold in the province.
Guest post for “Getting Schooled”: Psychologists Association of Alberta.
Read the full article here.