CBC: ‘Quite a few’ risks posed by recreational cannabis, researcher warns
Recreational marijuana use comes with risks, especially for young users, a Winnipeg medical researcher and oncologist warns after a task force released recommendations on regulating the sale of the drug.
On Tuesday, the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation advised the federal government to limit recreational marijuana to people 18 and older and give provinces the option of imposing an older age limit.
Dr. Paul Daeninck, an oncologist with Cancer Care Manitoba and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba who has studied marijuana use, said people up to age 25 may experience added risks if they use the drug. “When we hit 18 years of age, we’re thought to be mature,” he said. “However, our brains still continue to develop, they continue to make new connections, and that can go as long as somewhere between 21 and 25 years of age.”
He said young people who use marijuana may experience cognitive difficulties and intellectual delays. The Canadian Medical Association had recommended the minimum age for purchasing cannabis be 21 with strong regulation on access until a person turns 25.
“The trouble with marijuana is that there is some evidence that the use of marijuana at a younger age may cause problems with those neuroconnections,” said Daeninck.