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Marijuana's negative impact on teenage brains should influence its legalization, say experts

The latest research says marijuana is more harmful that most Canadians think, especially for young people with growing brains, members of an expert panel said Friday.

Calgary Herald - Bill Kaufmann Published on: March 11, 2016

With research showing harmful effects of marijuana on developing adolescent brains, Ottawa should tread carefully in how it legalizes the drug, including consideration of a high minimum age for usage, a panel on substance abuse said Friday.

Two members of a panel speaking in Calgary said updated research about the ways regular marijuana use negatively affects adolescents in numerous ways should colour the debate over the cannabis legalization promised by the new Liberal government.

Knowledge that cannabis affects the developing brain until age 25 should influence any legalization age restrictions, said Dr. Philip Tibbo, director of the Nova Scotia Early Psychosis program.

“With a drinking age at, say, 18, does that mean we have to have the same age for cannabis as well?” said Tibbo.

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