What barriers should be put in place to stop Canadian kids from accessing cannabis products?

Published Aug 5, 2019 01:32 p.m. ET
iStock / Yarra Riviera

Now that both THC and CBD products are widely available in Canada, many people are wondering if the move is a safe idea for our kids. This has led to fear, panic and push-back on the evolution of current legislate, in hopes that avoiding the subject entirely will somehow be less dangerous than tackling the question head-on. Should any barrier be in place to protect our youth from a negative experience or consequence? More specifically, one that might come from over-consuming or using THC products at an age where the brain is still developing.

The truth is, no one really knows the ideal answer to this question, but what we do have is other regions data. Ones that have introduced legalization in an entirely different manner than what we have, with exciting results. Particularly when it comes to average incidents of over-consumption and ease of access, which can adversely influence underage children who are not yet aware of the consequences. Though there is no way to say for sure that anyone of these ideas will dramatically impact our local statistics, we do know what has worked for other areas up until this point. Below, you will find a list of limits, rules and regulations from all around the world that we should be considering as they seem to help keep kids away from weed.

1. ID only website and in-person sales

Though it can most definitely get annoying to be consistently asked for your ID when browsing for your favorite THC products, it is one of the many helpful tools that has been implemented in Canada to keep children from accessing marijuana-infused items. That’s also only where it begins, as in Canada, identification is required even for mail-order delivery services. This ensures that an adult must be present to sign for the package, the same is true for accessories like marijuana vapes and bongs. Right now, minors cannot purchase a marijuana vape from any reputable establishment without identification. They can, however, buy bongs, weed pipes, papers and other popular paraphernalia, which should not be allowed.

2. Storage rules

Though no laws are governing how we store most household items like cleaners, medications and alcohol in our homes, it is generally considered to be common sense to keep THC products out of reach from children. Unfortunately, the majority of cases involving youth over-consuming cannabis, come from a parent who left these kinds of items out and easily accessible. This can easily be avoided, which has sparked a conversation about whether or not we should, have set laws for keeping both alcohol and THC products behind locked cabinets.


3. Education

One of the most essential and powerful tools that we can use in this case is knowledge. In school, there needs to be a gold standard that teaches about the benefits, as well as the possible adverse consequences for choosing to consume THC products at such a young age. This should include primary facts that can help them to understand why it’s a good idea to wait. Unfortunately, simply telling a child no is much more likely to entice them, than explaining with truths about the reality of experimentation with THC products in consumes that are far too young.

4. Growing regulations

Right now, in Canada, it is entirely legal to grow cannabis plants anywhere you like on your property. The same is right for both renters and homeowners, which leaves a lot of space for plants to be out in the open and easily accessible by children. Quebec is one of the few regions that has chosen to implement a strict rule about necessary protection for plants grown outdoors. They must be locked and cemented into the ground in order to pass an inspection. This can help to provide a safe grow room away from pests and other natural predators while also keeping them safely out of the hands of youth. Since these plants don’t require processing to use, it’s a good idea to keep the entire plant as secure as possible.

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