Pubdate: Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 The Calgary Sun
Page: 14


Maybe it's all the smoke in the air but the legalization of marijuana
is as foggy almost nine-months out as it was when it was first announced.

With consensus lacking on pretty much every issue, here and across
Canada, Alberta Health Services waded into the debate with its
suggestions for distribution, promotion and a minimum age for
marijuana use.

While stopping short of calling for 21 as the legal age, AHS cites
studies suggesting risk to the developing brain as the possible
impetus to align the minimum age of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana

That could prove problematic or at least controversial as Albertans
are now considered adult enough at 18 to legally smoke and drink,
among other things.

Smoking and drinking aren't exactly known for their health benefits
(well, except for the glass of red wine or a beer a day, etc.)

The legal age for smoking is all over the map across Canada: Manitoba, 
N.W.T., Nunavut, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon allow 18-year-olds to 
buy tobacco products.

But you must be 19 to buy the same stuff in B.C., N.B., Newfoundland
and Labrador, N.S., Ontario and P.E.I.

Meanwhile, along with Alberta, only Manitoba and Quebec allow drinking
at 18.

You must be 19 to legally drink in B.C., N.B., Newfoundland and
Labrador, N.W.T., N.S., Nunavut, Ontario, P.E.I., Saskatchewan and

One might rightly think that makes little sense. Are Albertans
considered more mature and able to smoke and drink responsibly whereas
their neighbours must be limited in their vices until they turn 19?
Nonsense, really. But arbitrary ages for important life milestones
just don't add up.

You can be tried - and jailed - as an adult at 18 but you can't drink,
smoke or buy pot?

You can join the Canadian military at 17 (with parental consent), but
you can't legally drink, smoke or buy pot?

You can vote in Canada at 18, but you can't legally drink, smoke or
buy pot? And you can even legally leave home at 16. As a society,
there always has to be the assumption or expectation alcohol, tobacco
or marijuana will be used responsibly by adults, but with the full
understanding it won't be by a certain percentage of users.

So if Albertans are considered adult at age 18, let's trust them to be
grownups with ample education and health awareness on alcohol, tobacco
and, yes, even marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Matt