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Statement by Health MInister Rona Ambrose on today’s SCC ruling

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Published on June 12, 2015 with No Comments

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that marijuana derivatives may be legally produced and accessed through the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

To date, Canadian courts have required government to allow access to dried marijuana when authorized by a physician, sidestepping the Health Canada evidence-based medical review process.

All proposed medical treatments need to meet strict Health Canada requirements so patients can be sure they are safe and effective. If serious researchers are interested in investigating potential benefits of marijuana derivatives such as oils, clinical trials are the appropriate path to ensure the effectiveness and safety of any new treatment.

Marijuana is neither an approved drug nor medicine in Canada and Health Canada does not endorse its use. Marijuana is illegal for a reason: there are serious and lasting health effects associated with smoking marijuana, especially for youth.

This latest ruling expands upon previous court decrees to now include candies, cookies, and pastries.

As Health Minister, it is very disappointing to see marijuana continue to be normalized for youth in the same manner planned by Justin Trudeau, making it easier for illegal drug dispensaries to operate in neighbourhoods. ‎

While storefronts selling marijuana are illegal and under this Conservative Government will remain illegal, some municipalities continue to disregard the law.

This expansion of a pre-existing court-imposed program to include baked goods and candies makes marijuana even more attractive and accessible to youth and reflects part of Justin Trudeau’s campaign to legalize and normalize marijuana.

The evidence is clear that when youth smoke marijuana they have increased risks of mental health issues including psychosis and schizophrenia.

According to the Canadian Drug Use Monitoring Survey, marijuana use by youth has dropped by almost 45% since 2004 thanks to this Conservative Government’s efforts to educate families. This same survey reported that while 20% of youth smoked marijuana in 2012, 70% drank alcohol. Regulating marijuana in the same manner as alcohol could mean tripling its use by youth.

While Justin Trudeau wants to legalize marijuana making it easier for youth to buy and smoke, this Conservative government does not support making access to illegal drugs easier.

We will continue to fight similar cases in court and remain deeply opposed to Justin Trudeau’s irresponsible scheme to legalize and normalize marijuana for youth.

Hon. Rona Ambrose PC MP
Minister of Health

For more information:
Michael Bolkenius
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
613-957-0200

 

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