EDMONTON – The health implications of legalized cannabis and ways to combat Canada’s rising opioid problem are on the agenda when health ministers meet this week in the Alberta capital.
Provincial and territorial ministers will hold discussions Thursday and will get an update on the marijuana file from federal counterpart Ginette Petipas Taylor on Friday.
Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says he wants to know more about the impacts on health and on the health system.
“Many studies show that people are affected by the consumption of marijuana up until the age of 25 because there can be long-term effects if the brain is still developing up until that age,” said Goertzen.
“We have concerns from a health perspective — what additional costs does that cause to the system and what negative outcomes does it cause to Canadians?”
Ottawa has set the minimum legal age for marijuana consumption at 18 when recreational cannabis use becomes legal July 1. The provinces can set the minimum age higher.
“We’ve done a great deal in society trying to move people away from smoking.