Marijuana Legalization and Prevention in Yukon
The current state of legal cannabis in the Yukon
All throughout Canada on October 17, 2018, the federal government legalized recreational cannabis under a federal cannabis act, and it was the responsibility of the provinces and territories to put in place regulations and by-laws surrounding cannabis in the various communities and cities. The primary concern for all communities and local governments is ensuring children and teens do not have access to recreational cannabis.
The legal age to purchase recreational cannabis in the Yukon is 19 years old, and this will be verified at the physical retail stores where persons can purchase cannabis. The retail stores will verify the age of anyone who looks under the age of 30 at the entrance of the store, before they can make a purchase. When someone purchases cannabis online, there will be an age verification at the time of entering the site, the time of sale, and when the product is delivered. Other regulations surround legal cannabis in the Yukon includes a person is only able to possess up to 30 grams on their person, and can only share up to 30 grams with other adults.
The purchase of cannabis products will be done through the Yukon Liquor Corporation retail stores, and an individual can grow up to four plants per household. It is illegal to supply recreational cannabis to anyone under the age of 19 years old, and it is illegal for anyone under the age of 19 to possess cannabis. Driving while impaired is also illegal, and anyone caught driving while impaired under cannabis will face the full extent of the law. If someone chooses to use recreational cannabis, they should do so responsibly, and not mix cannabis with other drugs such as alcohol or illegal street drugs, or prescription medications.
Are my children at risk of being exposed to legal cannabis?
When parents can lead by example and teach their children about cannabis and its effects, a child or teen can make the right choice when they are put into a position where cannabis may be available to them. One of the primary goals with legalizing marijuana is to help ensure children and teens do not have access to it.
Within most schools, the average teen will not always be exposed to cannabis, but there may be circumstances where a teen will be offered marijuana, such as at a social gathering or even within the school grounds. Drug education and prevention are important, and drug education information can be gotten through the Yukon government and also through the federal government, which is designed to keep youth, parents, and everyone informed about recreational cannabis. There are numerous health risks involved when youth begin to smoke marijuana because the human brain does not become fully developed until someone is 25 years old. When children are exposed to marijuana early on in life and choose to use it, they are placing themselves at risk.
If parents choose to smoke marijuana, it is important for them to keep it out of reach from their kids. Parents tend to lead by example, and if children see their parent's smoking marijuana, they may believe it is ok for them to use the drug as well. There is endless information about marijuana, how it impacts youth, and what is happening with legal recreational marijuana across the country. Parents should stay informed, and ensure their children have the right information.
What are the health risks with cannabis use, and is there treatment for addiction in the Yukon?
There are some health risks associated with using recreational cannabis, more so with cannabis containing large amounts of THC. Long-term and heavy use of cannabis can pose the risk of causing problems with thinking and memory or even physical coordination. Other problems may include impaired perceptions or hallucinations, which could lead to fatal and non-fatal injuries, including those caused by driving while impaired. Extensive use of non-medical cannabis may also cause mental health problems and even a dependency, which could lead to respiratory or lung problems and reproductive issues.
When a cannabis dependency takes hold, it is common for someone to gradually progress into other drugs, and more often than not, a dependency can lead to an addiction. Drug treatment options in the Yukon are often situated in the larger communities and cities, and this will include twelve-step services, counseling programs, support groups, and traditional healing. Anyone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, or dependency to marijuana should reach out for help. If someone feels their marijuana use has gotten out of control, or if there are consequences or problems happening within life, this may be time to reach out for help and get the counseling or support needed to address the problem.