Yo, what’s good? My name’s Dan and I’m here to talk about how legalizing cannabis in Canada is making a real difference for the youth. A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that since the Cannabis Act went into effect five years ago, there’s been a significant drop in police-reported cannabis-related offenses among young people aged 12-17. For females, the rate of daily incidents dropped 62.1% to 4.04, while for males it was reduced by 53% to 12.42 offenses per day. That’s huge!
The Cannabis Act made recreational marijuana use legal for adults aged 18 and older, and it seems like it’s really working to reduce criminalization among young people. The researchers wrote in their conclusion that “the impact of the Cannabis Act on reducing cannabis-related youth crimes is sustained, supporting the Act’s objectives to reduce cannabis-related criminalization among youth and associated effects on the Canadian criminal justice system.” They also noted that there was no evidence of associations between cannabis legalization and patterns of property or violent crimes.
Another study published in the same journal found that legalizing recreational marijuana use and sales didn’t lead to an increase in automobile accidents. So not only is legalizing cannabis helping young people avoid getting caught up in the criminal justice system, it’s not causing any additional harm to society.
These findings are important because they can help inform other countries considering cannabis legalization policies. Canada’s Cannabis Act mandated a review of its public health consequences by 2023, so this data will be useful for that evaluation.
Now that we’ve made progress with cannabis legalization, some activists are pushing for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms for medicinal use. It’s exciting to think about what other drug reforms we could achieve in the future. But for now, let’s celebrate the fact that legalizing cannabis is making a real difference for young people in Canada. Peace out!