Quebec Ups the Age to Legally Purchase Weed to 21

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In a move that many think will have little to no benefit, and some say will have quite negative consequences, Quebec has raised the legal age to purchase and possess marijuana from 18 to 21. In an article from Coast Mountain News, it is reported that the Coalition Avenir Quebec government passed the legislation in the fall of 2019, and it goes into effect today (1/1/2020).

Cannabis in Quebec

The Coalition sited concerns over cannabis affecting the minds of those under 21 adversely. However, the concern from experts in the field is that rather than waiting until age 21 to purchase marijuana, youth between the ages of 18 and 21 will simply purchase product from the black market – as they did before the legalization measure passed in Canada just over a year ago.

The article quotes Daniel Weinstock, health and social policy director at McGill University: “The problem is the amount of cannabis that’s already present in the illegal market. We have to think long and hard about our ability to effectively enforce prohibition,” Weinstock said. “And if we can’t — and I strongly suspect we won’t be able to — … we risk finding ourselves in the worst of all possible situations.”

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