This April 20, 2015, Canadians around the nation celebrated their pride as cannabis consumers. In fact, “cannabis in Canada polls much higher than our political party leaders do, currently,” says CSSDP Outreach Director Lisa Campbell. What does this mean for the upcoming election, and the potential effects on patients?
“In Canada, more young people use cannabis than any other country globally, although use is in decline. As opposed to criminalizing youth, it’s time to legalize and regulate cannabis and invest in health services like drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction.” Additionally, for those that use cannabis as a medicine, appropriate treatment and support is key.
The Liberals and NDP are clearly supporting cannabis reform if elected, while the Conservatives continue to support criminalization. Keeping cannabis illegal will have a continued negative effect on society as a whole, but the already marginalized groups that use cannabis, who are often with chronic illnesses or on government disability, are most effected. Prohibition of cannabis results in the imprisonment of over 60,000 Canadians a year, and more than 500,000 hold criminal records related to cannabis use. As CSSDP says, 42o demonstrates that many Canadians recognize the positive social, judicial, and economic potential that cannabis legalization will have. Check out CSSDP’s 420 blog series here and don’t forget to say your piece about why 420 matters.