Marijuana Legalization and Prevention in Alberta
The Current State of Marijuana Legalization in Alberta
As of October 17th, 2018, marijuana became legal throughout Canada and each province and territory have enacted certain laws and preventive measures to ensure safe consumption and maintain public safety. Cannabis is legal in Alberta, but it can only be purchased if the person is 18 or older, and only from licensed private stores in Alberta and from the province. The province will only permit a person to purchase or carry 30 grams at a time, and cannabis cannot be smoked in public places.
Other laws include that a person can only grow four plants in their household, and driving while high is illegal, and it cannot be within reach of anyone in a vehicle, and children are not allowed to enter cannabis stores, even with an adult. The Alberta Cannabis Framework and legislation outline particular information to keep Albertans aware of what is happening with legal cannabis. This information is important for parents with children and teens, when talking to them about cannabis and how it may impact them, with the drug now be legal to consume.
The minimum age for cannabis is aligned with the legal drinking age and smoking age in Alberta, which is 18. The Alberta Gaming Liquor Commission will manage wholesale and distribution, and licensed growers will be strictly regulated by the federal government. The cannabis stores in Alberta will have strict government oversight through licensing by the AGLC and they will ensure that private cannabis retailers operate responsibly and lawfully.
What Parents Need to Know
The province of Alberta has put in place numerous safe guards to help prevent minors from accessing marijuana and consuming cannabis. The new laws will work to keep cannabis out of the hands of young people, requiring anyone to show ID if they appear to be under the age of 25. Minors are not allowed in any cannabis stores in the province, even if they are accompanied by an adult. Parents should always talk to their children about drugs, and this is especially significant now that marijuana is legal in Canada. It is important for parents to explain to their children that adults will choose to use marijuana, similar to how they will choose to use alcohol, and if someone chooses to use these drugs, it should be done so responsibly.
It is also important to explain to children and teens that addiction to cannabis can happen when the drug is abused, and it occurs very often that people rely on marijuana use every day to help them get through difficult circumstances, or some type of physical or emotional trauma. Children and teens should also be made aware of the potential physical and psychological health risks associated to using cannabis at a young age. Because a child’s or a teen's brain is not fully developed, there is an increased risk for severe mental health problems, and permanent damage done to the brain when marijuana is used. Drug prevention and education are still important and even more so now with the legalization of marijuana. Many of the regulations in the province to protect children from exposure are similar to tobacco.
Cannabis cannot be consumed on any hospital property, school ground, or a childcare facility, or in or within a certain distance of a playground, sports or playing field, skateboard or bicycle park, a zoo, outdoor theater, and or any type of outdoor pool or splash pad, and marijuana cannot be consumed in a vehicle. The advertising and packaging of cannabis in Alberta are also strictly monitored, which include no promotion or packaging or any type of labeling that can be considered appealing to children and teens. The province of Alberta is committed to keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, protecting safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces, protecting public health, and limiting the illegal market for cannabis.
How to help someone who is addicted to drugs such as marijuana in Alberta?
Drug addiction is a common problem in Alberta, and cannabis has always been a regularly used substance in the province. Since the recent legalization of marijuana in Canada, every province and territory have taken steps to ensure the proper drug education, prevention, and treatment resources are available to those who need it. The Alberta Gaming Liquor Commission is continuing to remind people preventative advertisements to not use marijuana while driving, and not to mix marijuana with alcohol and other drugs, and now that it is legal, it basically comes down to using it responsibly if someone chooses to use cannabis.
However, there are those who are addicted to marijuana and other drugs and require help for their addiction. Parents in Alberta will often see their young children or teens be exposed to marijuana, and many parents will witness their children become addicted to these drugs later in life. When helping, someone addicted to marijuana it is important to address the addiction and not place blame, but rather get them the help, they need to treat the underlying problem. Marijuana impacts the mind the and body in certain ways; despite the drug has been used recreationally and for medical purposes for quite some time. Depending on the types of cannabis being used, the strength of the chemicals in it will be different, such as THC which is a compound primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
It is quite easy to become dependent on marijuana because of these effects, but there are numerous drug treatment options and resources for addicts and their families who need help in Alberta. Alberta Health Services, and local private treatment organizations within the province are there to help anyone struggling with an addiction or drug problem that does involve marijuana.