“I want to send a very clear message to young people,” said Premier François Legault. “Consuming cannabis is dangerous. It can cause serious problems like schizophrenia. So please, don’t consume it.” (La Presse—In French)
It is only the second bill the CAQ has tabled since coming to power October 1.
The MNA who introduced the bill, Lional Carmant, is also a pediatric neurologist and is concerned about cannabis’s effect on young people’s brains. In spite of demands from Liberal Opposition Leader Sébastien Proulx for “wide consultations,” the CAQ parliamentary leader Simon Jolin-Barrette (who developed the party’s “hard line” against cannabis) said the CAQ would allow only short consultations. (Le Devoir--In French)
As I noted last week, the CAQ asked the Ministry of Health and the Quebec Institute of Public Health to provide research to justify the plan to raise the age, and were instead delivered documents concluding the age of 18 as it was implemented would be best for health and legal reasons.
In a press release, the Quebec Federation of Medical Specialists applauded the move, saying it believed "any measure to push back the age of first cannabis consumption is favourable to the health of young Quebeckers."