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Marijuana Legalization and Prevention in Ontario

What parents and people need to know

As of October 17, 2018, the federal government of Canada officially made cannabis legal for recreational use, and within Ontario, the provincial government has put certain rules and regulations in place to help keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and ensure that Ontario roads are kept safe, and the illegal market is squashed. By April 1st of 2019, the provincial government will move forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis, and medical cannabis will continue to fall within different rules than recreational cannabis.

The legal age to purchase, use and grow cannabis is 19, and this is same age for purchasing and using alcohol and tobacco. There are certain rules put in place regarding where someone can use cannabis, whether it is medical or recreational marijuana. Cannabis can be used in private residences that are not designated as workplaces, certain outdoor public places, designated guest rooms in hotels, residential vehicles and boats that meet some particular criteria, and other controlled areas. Ontario is not allowing cannabis to be smoked in indoor common areas, enclosed public places or work places, schools and places where children gather, publicly owned spaces, such as sports fields, and a vehicle or boat that is being operated.

Driving while impaired is illegal in Ontario, and it is illegal to drive while impaired by cannabis. Using drugs or alcohol while driving will slow down a person’s reactions time and drastically increase the chances of a collision. When a police officer finds someone, who is impaired by cannabis while operating a vehicle, there will be an immediate license suspension, potential vehicle impoundment, criminal record, and jail time. The province of Ontario is also carrying a zero-tolerance for young, novice, or commercial drivers. Currently, in Ontario, recreational cannabis can only be purchased through the Ontario Cannabis store online, and retail stores will begin to open by April of 2019.

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What is Ontario telling parents they need to know about cannabis?

Drug education and prevention are important for Ontario’s young people, children and teens, and the province is enacting numerous regulations that will keep cannabis out of the hands of young people, children, and teens. Cannabis comes from a plant that creates common strains such as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica and flowers, fruiting tops and leaves are dried and harvested in distinctive ways to produce a substance that consumed for a variety of different reasons. There are numerous ways for a person to use cannabis such as smoking it, eating it, or drinking it.

In Ontario, it is estimated that 1 in 5 students or roughly 18 to 20 percent of kids in grade seven to twelve says they have used cannabis at least once, and slightly over 80 percent of these students have reported that they have not used cannabis. It is important for parents, guardians, or any type of caregiver to lead by example, and give their children the facts about cannabis. It is important to stay connected to the child, know their friends, and always engage in open and honest conversation, and answer questions. Youth are especially vulnerable, because the brain does not fully develop until someone is at least 25 years old, and there is an increased risk for mental health problems when cannabis is used at a younger age. Recreational cannabis is used to cause a certain feeling, and a chemical found in most recreation cannabis is THC ( psychoactive Definition of the word psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. In pure form, it is a glassy solid when cold and becomes viscous and sticky if warmed.} Tetrahydrocannabinol Definition of the word{/tip} Tetrahydrocannabinol ) that will induce mental and physical effects.

Everyone will react to the drug differently, but overall it will provide a feeling of being relaxed, happy, slight euphoria, and also possibly cause confusion, drowsiness, forgetfulness, panic, delusions, and distorted perception. When the drug is smoked, or used through a vaporizer, the effects are instant and can last for hours, whereas the effects from edibles can last for 12 hours or more, but will not take effects immediately. For anyone under the age of 19 in Ontario, it is illegal to grow, possess, sell, buy, share, and use recreational cannabis. Some of the surveys done throughout Ontario have indicated that roughly over 60 percent of kids in grades seven to 12 do not have any plans to try recreational cannabis.

How do I know if my child is addicted to cannabis?

There are different ranges with how people use drugs such as substance use, which is where someone may be using drugs to relax or feel good, which could potentially lead to a problem. If your child becomes distant or less talkative, it is important to talk with them and find what may be bothering them. Problematic use would be when someone uses drugs despite the negative health and social consequences, and this may be seen when a child begins to avoid certain responsibilities or is late for class, or more defiant. An addiction will happen when the substance use becomes uncontrollable, and has a strong desire to use drugs, and will begin hid the use out of shame or guilt. Young people will begin to show an addiction when they are unable to control their use of cannabis, and continually use despite all consequences.

The information below will help you on how to find outpatient rehabilitation center for Cannabis addiction in Ontario. The list could be incomplete, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1-877-254-3348.

List of Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Services for Marijuana Addiction in Ontario

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