Frequently asked questions + Legalization, decriminalization and medicalization + Is Pot Legal Now?
No. As of the latest court ruling on October 7, 2003, possession of any amount of marijuana is still illegal.
Since the government is talking about making pot legal, that means they think itís harmless, right?
No. The government is thinking of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. This is different from legalizing marijuana.
Anyone found in possession of small amounts of marijuana would still be charged, but they wouldnít have a criminal record.
The main reason for decriminalizing marijuana is to avoid giving people a criminal record. Each year, many Canadians are charged and prosecuted for cannabis possession and experience the negative effects that come with a criminal record (i.e.: canít get a job, hard to cross the border, family problems).
The proposed change to our current laws around marijuana does not mean that the government feels that marijuana is a safe drug to use.
Is Marijuana harmful?
Like any drug Ė legal or illegal, marijuana can be abused. There are many possible short-term and long-term effects of marijuana use.
Because of these possible effects, the Region of Peelís Health Department recommends not using this drug.
Since marijuana is now allowed to be used by some people as a medicine, doesn’t this mean that doctors think it’s safe to use?
No. All drugs have side effects and marijuana is no exception.
Example: smoking marijuana is bad for your lungs. Marijuana is only prescribed in certain situations for very serious illnesses, and even then, it is not prescribed very often.
If it’s okay as a prescribed medicine, doesn’t this mean that it’s okay as a party drug? No. There are hundreds of drugs that are prescribed for medical conditions that should never be used by anyone other than the person who the doctor wrote the prescription for. And even those people arenít always glad to be taking the drug.
Just because a drug is prescribed doesnít mean it is safe to be used recreationally.