Subeen Lee / Staff reporter 

On October 17, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau legalized adults over the age of 18 to possess cannabis. One of the primary reasons that this regulation has become legal is to prevent young people from accessing the drug more easily. 

According to Cannabis, Canada is one of the countries where teenagers use cannabis the most. Between 2018 and 2019, the rate of youth using cannabis increased from 16.7% to 18.1. In Ontario, one in five students in grades 7 to 12 used cannabis in 2019. Based on these findings, the law enacted on October 18, 2018, appears to have performed a negative influence in keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors. 

Due to the legalization of cannabis, adolescents are increasingly exposed to it, and it is now quite easy to obtain. Walking along the street, you may frequently smell cannabis and see individuals smoking it. Not only that, but the number of cannabis stores is growing, resulting in increased exposure. Adolescents may not feel bad about consuming cannabis since they only see the positive outcomes that the media promotes.  

Commercial Cannabis Production Program | Niagara College

Many adolescents may be unaware of the serious consequences cannabis can have on their health. People who began smoking this in their early adolescence have more serious side effects than those who began using it later in life. When you smoke cannabis, you feel ecstatic, and while you’re high on it, you have better eyesight, hearing, and smell, and you’re more likely to become hooked to it. However, this has a significant negative impact on the human brain and health. Cannabis produces short-term disorientation, tiredness and lethargy, and disruption of attention. It causes worry, terror, and sometimes panic attacks. Furthermore, cannabis smoke causes damage to human blood vessels and increases heart rate, raising the risk of a heart attack. Its long-term use makes it difficult to not only focus on something, but also to think and decide. It even has a negative impact on human intelligence. 

Cannabis and a teenager's developing brain: what you need to know -  ReachOut Parents

Cannabis clearly has a negative impact on adolescents. Many teens under the age of 18 do not follow the law, despite the fact that it is illegal to possess it. To address this issue, the government must reinforce the law to prevent youngsters from smoking cannabis and becoming hooked to it. 

Sources:

Cannabis (drugfreekidscanada.org) 

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/health-effects.html

Pictures:

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