Harper says that regulating cannabis like cigarettes or alcohol would do nothing to keep it out of the hands of kids. But does prohibition?Though the #CannabisClaims campaign by scientists and researchers at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy have presented the facts, misinformed claims about cannabis and cannabis use continue to spread. Last year, Health Canada created an expensive anti-marijuana ad campaign claiming that cannabis causes lower IQs, and increases risk of mental health issues, such as psychosis and schizophrenia. Study of the evidence shows different conclusions, including that regulation would be a better solution to limit access to children, among other benefits.

According to Steven Laviolette from Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, who researches the effects on the brain of nicotine and THC, “In terms of the statement that marijuana is infinitely more harmful than tobacco, there’s simply no evidence at all to suggest that’s true either in terms of health care costs, or in terms of relative health dangers.” As prohibition seems to have failed to keep cannabis from children, and only adds barriers for patients to access quality medicine, evidence-based regulation could very well be the answer.