What should be the minimum age to use cannabis after legalization?

Tamas Miko
By Tamas Miko April 20, 2018 14:57

Dr. Chintan Shah is a practicing physician at Roseville Garden Family Practice (Photo by Tamas Miko)


By Tamas Miko

The legalization of cannabis in Ontario will come into effect later in 2018. However, questions arise about what will be the minimum age and if it would be safer for youth.

The government is legalizing recreational cannabis later across Canada. According to regulations the minimum age would be 19 years old. Youth will have access to cannabis across Ontario with some restrictions but Windsorites have concerns this might be not a good idea.

However, medical marijuana will continue to use different rules than recreational cannabis. As to where individuals could use cannabis is another question. Based on the cannabis legislation, anyone would be able to use cannabis in their private property. Such as inside their home as well as outdoor in their porch or backyard. Also, consuming cannabis in the unit or on the balcony will be allowed unless the house rules or the lease says it otherwise. Anyone using cannabis in public places could face charges up to $1,000 on first offence and $5,000 for subsequent offence.

According to the government of Ontario, individuals will not be allowed to use cannabis in any public place, workplace or motorized vehicle. It is dangerous and illegal to drive while drug-impaired because it decreases the reaction time and increases the chances of an accident. For those who do not obey the laws, they will face serious charges while driving under the influence such as financial penalties, possible criminal record, vehicle impoundment, jail time and immediate licence suspension.  

A Roseville Garden Family Practice physician, Dr. Chintan Shah said he has concerns about legalizing cannabis. According to Shah, there has not been a legal limit set and there are no tests to see the amount of cannabis in the blood that would cause impairment. Shah said there might be a lot of problems when it comes to driving a car under the influence.

“I think as a physician we could be looking at a lot of complications; a lot of challenges potentially DUI related,” said Shah.

Shah said using medical marijuana has restriction on how much a person is allowed to have, but with recreational cannabis it is uncertain. According to Shah, he does not know if they would regulate the amount of consumption but it seems to be safer than black market cannabis.

“I think it is safer than the black market because you really don’t know what is in there. It could be mixed with other things,” said Shah.

According to Shah, the minimum age for cannabis access should be 21 years old. Shah said he has patients who can access to marijuana in other ways. However, Shah thinks it is more of a social responsibility when it comes to the use of drugs. Shah said, he came across with people who had variety of health problems and relied on drugs to escape from reality.

“I think that whole kind of outlook needs a little bit of refinement. It needs to be light shown on what other alternatives are there to overcome these many challenges,” said Shah.


Windsor resident Randy Van Wagner (Photo by Tamas Miko)


Randy Van Wagner is a Windsor resident. He believes marijuana should not be legal. He said the minimum age should be higher when it comes to legalizing marijuana and studies show cannabis use during development can result in long-term or permanent changes in the brain.

“I know people personally who smoked when they were young,” said Wagner. “Their brain is wrecked from smoking marijuana.” 

Studies show exposure to THC during adolescence can cause problems with memory tasks and specific learning later in life. Wagner said the minimum age should be 25 years old. According to Wagner people who used marijuana at a young age had less productivity.  He believes that legalization is a bad idea that could lead to other problems.

“I think it’s bad for society. I think it’s bad for the economy and as a whole bad for the people,” said Wagner.


Tamas Miko
By Tamas Miko April 20, 2018 14:57

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