N.B. doctors ask government to set legal marijuana age at 21
A man rolls a marijuana cigarette in Trenton, N.J. on March 21, 2015. (AP / Mel Evans)
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017 3:10PM ADT
FREDERICTON -- The New Brunswick Medical Society says the legal age to buy marijuana should be 21 -- and the age for tobacco should be raised to 21, too.
The society has issued 14 recommendations to the provincial government, saying it wants to "to minimize the harm to the public from the coming legalization of marijuana."
It says it would prefer marijuana not be sold to anyone under the age of 25, but recognizes that's unrealistic.
It says it would accept the age of 21, and adds that should also become the legal age for buying tobacco for anyone born in the year 2000 or later.
Notably, the society adds the province should speak about the economic potential of marijuana production "in a cautious manner."
Dr. Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck, president of the medical society, said she believes marijuana is routinely underestimated as a harmful substance.
"Doctors believe it should not be sold to anyone under the age of 21, as the brain is still actively developing until the age of 25, especially in men," she said in a statement.
"I see young mothers every day who seem unconcerned about using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding. The science is clear -- there's more to marijuana than many New Brunswickers think."
The Liberal government, led by 35-year-old Brian Gallant, sees marijuana as green gold -- an important creator of revenue and jobs in a province that badly needs both.
It is giving producers financial incentives, has developed a community college program for cannabis technicians, and announced March 24 that marijuana is to be a pillar of its economic strategy.
The society also recommends no profit target be set if NB Liquor is chosen to be the legal supplier of marijuana.