Cannabis might be legal, but there are still risks with consuming it
It's been almost a month since cannabis became legal in Canada.
Despite being plagued by a supply shortage, some parts of the roll out have gone smoothly, which is why Doctors Nova Scotia says it's important to keep the conversation about cannabis-related health risks alive.
“If you have a history of schizophrenia or manic episodes, be very wary when you're using cannabis,” said Doctors Nova Scotia President Dr. Tim Holland. “And, if you start developing a lot of vomiting over and over after chronic use, go see your doctor. You could be a victim of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome.”
Holland also says it’s important for people to keep edibles safely stored to keep them away from unintended consumers.
“Not just children, but any unknowing adult or grandparent that it's in the home,” Holland said. “We have to make sure that we keep these edibles in a way that's not enticing to children and also that they can't accidently get into.”
Doctors are pleased the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) has its own concerns about how to keep the conversation going.
“Students naturally want to ask questions about (it),” said NSTU President Paul Wozney. “Now that it's legal, and you're not going to get in trouble for smoking cannabis or using it, do you use it and why?”
Wozney says teachers recognize that not all families share the same values about cannabis even though it's legal.
“A lot of teachers are very concerned,” Wozney said. “Am I going to land myself in hot water if I share my personal views or am I going to feel the wrath of parents who don't share what I believe?”
Police say that even though you can legally purchase cannabis, it's still illegal to drive high.
“Cannabis does impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. John MacLeod. “The safest thing you can do is not mix alcohol or drugs with driving so just don't do that.”
Halifax Regional Police say they have already issued some tickets to drivers for illegally transporting cannabis in their vehicles and they have laid charges for impaired driving as well.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.