A tale of two jurisdictions. Can Australia and Canada learn from each other’s experience with cannabis control?
Objective: To compare public health and legal policies to reduce the harm associated with cannabis use in Canada and Australia, given similarities between both countries. Method: A review of the epidemiological and health policy literature. Results: Although both countries have adopted harm minimization, a continued heavy reliance on legislative and punitive approaches in both Canada and Australia has failed to arrest the increase in cannabis use, especially among young people. A Senate inquiry in Canada has recommended the liberalization of laws on the possession and use of cannabis, while tightening legislation against operating vehicles or machinery while intoxicated. Conclusions: Existing policies are not evidence-based and lead to adverse outcomes such as criminalization of otherwise law-abiding citizens and diversion of resources from more effective policing or health service initiatives.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified