The age limit for buying weed through SQDC is about to change

Published Jan 7, 2020 02:00 p.m. ET
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Quebec has remained hesitant on the cannabis forefront, and that is reflected in some of their most stringent regulations surrounding storage, traveling with, and growing it, but they were one of only two provinces in the entire country to introduce such a low legal age limit to buy weed. Alberta and Quebec set the legal age to buy cannabis at 18 years old, which is one year younger than most regions that have chosen 19 years old as a reasonable standard.

If you’ve read that and found yourself planning a getaway destination that might allow you to partake an entire year sooner, you’d better hurry, as these lenient laws are about to shift in the complete opposite direction. With Quebec establishing 21 years old as the minimum age to buy anything from a cannabis dispensary since the provinces set their own guidelines as per federal law. This change won’t be affecting anyone else in the country, but those who are 18 years and want access to a legal supplier, it is incredibly disappointing.

Why did the provincial government choose to raise the legal age to buy weed?

Though there has yet to be any formal statement provided to the people for this change in opinion, one of the most cited throughout proceedings is a study that was conducted in Ste-Justine Hospital-Universite de Montreal. Their research which took place in early 2018, revealed a substantial possibility of cognitive damage in teens who used cannabis on a regular basis, and it appeared to continue to impact participants in ways that were compared to alcohol.

The minimum age for alcohol remains at 18

Quebec has long been known for its relaxed approach to alcohol, and one of the most famous of the provinces’ rules is that youth can purchase and drink alcohol as soon as they turn 18 years old. Many critics are pointing out this discrepancy as irresponsible and deplorable, especially when we know that alcohol poisons and kill hundreds of people every single year. The minimum age for both substances is set and regulated by the provincial government, so it doesn’t make logical sense to most to introduce a new higher age limit for buying cannabis from a dispensary.


Good or bad idea?

Allowing a jump of one year is going to leave hundreds of currently legal consumers without a safe place to access tested and regulated products, which could drive them to black-market suppliers. The problem with the unregulated market is that it isn’t always safe and is often fraught with problems that could cause issues for those who use them. One perfect example of this is the latest vaping epidemic which is still highly misunderstood, and all seems to be connected to unlicensed and illegal vendors.

As of now, there is no evidence to show that approve vape juices or pods are a hazard to anyone’s health which is why Health Canada is proceeding with the release of cannabis-infused vaping products. Removing this essential service might be marketed as an essential tool for helping teens, but ultimately, they are more likely to be adversely affected by this decision, leading to a host of problems that will land on the healthcare system to fix. One of the many problems that we were trying to fix and avoid by bringing forward cannabis legalization in the first place.

Quebec government forges ahead with cannabis age restrictions despite criticism


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