Marijuana Legalization and Prevention in Nova Scotia
Be Aware of the Risks and Use Responsibly
The province of Nova Scotia is letting its residents know to be informed, know the laws, understand the risks, and use cannabis responsibly. As of October 17, 2018, cannabis became legal all throughout Canada, and each province have developed particular regulations to ensure public safety and health. The cannabis laws are different within each province and territory.
Within the province of Nova Scotia, someone who uses cannabis must be 19 years of age, and this also includes persons that grow or possess cannabis in the province. When a person is under 19, and is caught with cannabis it will be seized, and they will be fined up to 150$ and restorative justice programs may be used. If someone is under 18 and is possession of more than five grams, it will be a criminal offence, and the individual will be prosecuted with a youth drug possession. If someone is over the age of 18, and is found with more than 30 grams of cannabis, this will be a criminal offence under the federal Cannabis Act. In order to protect youth, if someone is caught selling cannabis to someone under the age of 19 or involved with a cannabis-related crime, the individual may be fined up to $10,000.
The province of Nova Scotia has these rules and regulations in place to help protect those who are vulnerable, and ensure public safety and health in the province. It is also important for those who choose to use cannabis to be aware of where they can use it. The Smoke-free Places Act in Nova Scotia applies to the use of cannabis in public places. Someone who is in violation of this act, can be fined up to $2000, and each municipality may have passed different laws. Impaired driving laws may have stiffened and driving while under the influence of cannabis is illegal.
How to prevent child and teen use of cannabis in Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will be the only retailer for cannabis in Nova Scotia, and it can only be purchased at designated stores or online. Legal cannabis will have an impact on the lives of the youth in Nova Scotia, because like alcohol, teens can still find a way to get the drug. It is important to talk with youth about cannabis, and to help them understand that the human brain is not fully developed until someone is 25 years old, and that children and teens are more vulnerable to the long-term effects, and the risk for dependency is increased. Cannabis will hurt the teen brain, and the regular and constant use of cannabis will impair brain development and lower the IQ, along with preventing the brain from reaching its full potential. Parents must provide their children with the facts, and explain to them how cannabis can impact their lives while in school.
There will be times where teens will be exposed to cannabis at social gatherings and will be offered the drug. Addiction is a problem for many teens in Nova Scotia, and many are not seeking out the right help they need. Many teenagers in Nova Scotia may not be fully aware of the risks. Parents must help their children understand that using cannabis at a young age will increase the likelihood of engaging in other risky behaviors, and regular use will lead to a dependency, which will cause poor performance in school, lower grades, and an increased risk for dropping out of school. Parents in Nova Scotia should start the conversation early and always be ready with the information, and always remember to be understanding and listen to your children’s concerns and questions.
How to help someone addicted to cannabis in Nova Scotia
Abusing cannabis is often part of a larger drug problem that will require the proper treatment and care to rehabilitate the person. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health has developed certain guidelines for lower risk cannabis use to help prevent addiction. However, an addiction can still occur, and this can lead to a problem that can become difficult to treat the longer it is left. When someone is addicted to cannabis in Nova Scotia, they can reach out to provincial resources such as help-lines, twelve-step programs, counseling services, and mental health services.
Throughout Nova Scotia are private drug treatment services, including detox programs, and this will include inpatient and outpatient options. Choosing the right type of treatment is important, if someone feels their cannabis use has gotten out of control, they may benefit from an outpatient treatment option or some type of counseling to help with the underlying issues. Treatment and rehab are important steps, and will help put a person back on the right track again.