OTTAWA – Today, Canada will become only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) recognizes this as an important opportunity for Canada to become a global research leader in this area. Our country has one of the highest cannabis consumption rates in the world, with more than 40 per cent of people in Canada reporting they have used at least once in their lifetime.
The MHCC applauds the government of Canada for investing in closing the research gap on potential harms and benefits of cannabis use on mental health. The MHCC is pleased to be coordinating a 10 million-dollar investment allocated by the federal government to study the mental health impact of cannabis use for people in Canada. Areas of study include the negative impact of cannabis use on mental health outcomes, the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids, the influence of mental health problems and illnesses on patterns of cannabis use and the needs of diverse populations who live with cannabis use disorder and/or a mental illness.
Our message, to stakeholders, parents, schools and community leaders, is to get informed. Visit Cannabis in Canada, a website that include resources and information compiled by the Government of Canada.
The legalization of cannabis affords us an opportunity to generate sound, evidence-informed public education and policy. The MHCC has a crucial role to play and we welcome the opportunity.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada