Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, it is quite likely that you have questions around how to stash your stash. Education and awareness are vitally important. Canada's legalization of cannabis usage is restricted to adults, so protecting children and youth - and not exposing them to it - is a serious adult responsibility.
Out of reach
According to Canada’s Cannabis Act, in order to buy, possess or use cannabis and cannabis products, you must be of legal age (18 or 19 or older, depending on your province or territory). The Act also includes strict penalties for selling or providing cannabis and cannabis products to youth under the legal age.
Scientific research over the past 15 years has established that the human brain continues to develop into a person’s early 20s. Cannabis use during adolescence can cause functional and structural changes to the developing pathways of the brain, leading to damage.
This establishes a major guideline for the storage of cannabis in any Canadian province or territory: it needs to be out of reach of children (and pets). Any cannabis products should be securely locked away and/or packaged in child-safe lockable containers and clearly labelled.
Out of sight
In October 2019, the legalization of cannabis edibles in Canada created even more of an incentive to ensure that these and other cannabis products are not only out of reach of children, but also out of sight - especially when it comes to teenagers.
The Canadian Government is intent on preventing and/or delaying cannabis use among youth, and education around the laws and policies surrounding recreational cannabis is paramount.
‘A recent study using data from more than 230,000 questionnaires by Canadian high school students in grades 9 to 12 found that almost 10 per cent reported having used the drug at least once per week in 2017-18, with a further 18 per cent saying they had used it at least once in the last year.’
The legalization of cannabis in Canada does not negate the potential risks and dangers associated with the drug and the effect of the THC component.
Out of mind
Parents, caregivers, teachers and guardians are all responsible for the safety of the children in their care, and this includes not exposing them to cannabis, according to Canada’s Cannabis laws. Smoking cannabis or ingesting cannabis edibles in front of children and teens is highly irresponsible.
Although still in the research phase, there is scientific and medical concern around second-hand cannabis smoke, especially for small children, due to their weight and size.
Children who have inadvertently ingested cannabis products can experience a number of adverse effects, including being disoriented, agitated and off-balance. Seizures and coma have been reported in children who have taken in high concentrations of cannabis, and in rare circumstances, strokes and even heart attacks have been experienced. Children can also be susceptible to cannabis poisoning from eating discarded joints, papers or other residues from cannabis products.
Adults are responsible to protect children and operate within the confines of Canada’s Cannabis laws and policies.
If you think your child might have consumed any marijuana products call the Poison Help Center at 800-222-1222 or 911 immediately.
Canada’s cannabis laws around the recreational use of cannabis are designed to protect children and youth. Awareness and education around these policies and regulations is imperative.
RCU is Canada’s cannabis platform for the education of individuals and organizations on cannabis laws, facts and safety tips.
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