Marijuana Legalization and Prevention in New Brunswick
What does legal cannabis mean for people in New Brunswick?
On October 17th, 2018, recreational cannabis became legal all throughout Canada, and it was the responsibility of the provinces and the territories to develop regulations surrounding it, while following the Cannabis Act issued by the federal government. The province of New Brunswick is working to build a cannabis culture that is safe, legal, responsible, and only limited to adults. New Brunswick will be prioritizing public health and awareness, and will be taking advantage of the new industry and economic opportunity being made available.
New Brunswick is reminding the people living in the province that the legal age to purchase, cultivate or consume and possess cannabis will be 19 years old. There are numerous regulations within the province to ensure public safety and health are protected. Some of these regulations include the restriction of consuming cannabis in public, and cannabis New Brunswick is the only legal retailer, and the cannabis stores in New Brunswick can only sell to people who are 19 years old. Persons that are 19 or older may only have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in possession outside of the home, and in the home, cannabis must be kept secured and out of reach from minors.
Persons that are 19 are allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants on their property for personal use. As well within many other provinces, the impaired driving laws will be stiffened, and it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. If someone does choose to us cannabis, the province of New Brunswick is urging people to do so legally, and that the people of New Brunswick understand the risks involved with using cannabis, and to protect those such as children and teens from being exposed to cannabis.
What are some of the risks involved with using cannabis?
Despite various types of chemicals being used from a cannabis plant, there are some inherent risks involved with using recreational cannabis. There can be short-term and long-term risks involved with using and abusing recreational cannabis, especially for those under the age of 25, because of the developing brain. Children and teens are especially at risk, and can potentially develop severe mental-health problems early on. When children and teens use cannabis, they are placing themselves at risk for developing learning problems, and the ability to retain knowledge. Women who are pregnant and or breastfeeding should not use cannabis as it will directly affect the child and damage the child in many ways.
It is also recommended that persons with already existing mental health problems and those taking prescription medications should not use cannabis, as it can potentially intensify the mental health issues and cause problems with the medications. The long-term and extensive use of cannabis will potentially lead to a dependency or addiction. Very often cannabis is used as part of a larger drug problem, where an addict is using other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, meth, or prescription drugs. Anyone struggling with an addiction to cannabis and other drugs in New Brunswick can access the various provincial health programs and private drug treatment services available.
How do I talk to my kids about cannabis?
Since the legalization of cannabis in New Brunswick, it is important for parents to speak to their children about it and what it means for them. Children and teens are particularly at risk for cannabis-related harm because their brains are still in development. Children and teens look to adults for advice and guidance so as they can eventually make responsible decisions. Parents in New Brunswick will have access to a cannabis talk kit – know how to talk to your teen, which is provided through Drug Free Kids. The provincial government in New Brunswick is also focused on providing kids in school with the proper drug education to ensure they can make responsible choices and decisions. The goal of drug education in New Brunswick schools is to help impact their lives positively and encourage them to make healthy and positive life choices.
Cannabis drug education in New Brunswick schools are all done in an age-appropriate manner, to help all children make well-informed choices and help them develop behaviors to help contribute to their own well-being. Within New Brunswick, the Department of Education and Early-Childhood Development is always taking a pro-active approach with drug education. When talking to children or teens about drugs, it is important to provide the facts, give examples, and help them understand how it could impact their lives, and the lives of the people around them. Too many teens begin to use drugs early one, and for many, this turns into a potentially devastating addiction. If children and teens can learn to make the proper decisions early on life and be aware of the risks, more of them in New Brunswick will avoid addiction and the destruction that comes with it.