Home > News Room > News Releases > 2016 > Canadian Nurses Association welcomes federal task force report on cannabis legalization and regulation

Canadian Nurses Association welcomes federal task force report on cannabis legalization and regulation

Ottawa, December 13, 2016 — Barb Shellian, president of the Canadian Nurses Association issued the following statement following the release of the federal task force report on cannabis legalization and regulation.

“The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) welcomes today’s report by the federal task force on cannabis legalization and regulation. CNA supports a careful and balanced approach that provides time for a system shift and an opportunity to examine its impact on the public and vulnerable populations, including the potential harm to brain development that cannabis could cause.

“As the largest group of health-care providers, registered nurses and nurse practitioners are often the first point of contact among people who use cannabis. As such, we strongly support a harm reduction approach in all aspects of its legalization and regulation. We believe all eligible Canadians are entitled to have access to a safe, labelled product approved through a standardized quality assurance program.

“It is of utmost importance to prepare Canadians well in advance regarding this change in legislation by providing education on prevention and harm reduction related to its use. As components of a balanced and measured approach, harm reduction policy should include considerations for minimizing harm among youth and developing tools for the detection of impaired driving. The legalization of cannabis does not negate the need for ongoing support and research into indications for the use of medical cannabis.

“CNA is pleased to see the federal task force report on cannabis legalization and regulation propose recommendations that strongly emphasize harm reduction and remain consistent with the recommendations we put forward during the task force’s consultation process.”

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Background:
The report includes several recommendations that align with considerations CNA has put forward, including:

  • That a new regulatory framework should contain features designed to ensure good manufacturing practices
  • Putting restrictions on marketing and promotion
  • Using revenue from cannabis to fund administration, education, research and enforcement
  • Developing an evidence-informed public education campaign, targeted at the general population but with an emphasis on youth, parents and vulnerable populations
  • Placing limits on the density and location of storefronts, including an appropriate distance from schools, community centres, public parks and other locations
  • Maintaining a separate medical access framework to support patients

Task force on cannabis legalization and regulation report
The Canadian Nurses Association is the national professional voice representing over 139,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in Canada. CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.

For more information, please contact:
Kevin Ménard

Communications Advisor
Canadian Nurses Association
Tel.: 613-237-2159, ext. 543
E-mail: kmenard@cna-aiic.ca