Don’t Treat All Marijuana Users The Same Way, says Study

The latest Canadian study foresees problems with standardizing criminalization of all marijuana users and says that the initiative must replace the one-size-fits-all treatment. This drive addresses users who smoke heavy and are all set to face problems.

According to Benedikt Fischer, a professor at the Simon Fraser University Health Sciences, their argument was to adopt a customized approach recognizing the fact that only very few people were affected by cannabis use. A fair majority of marijuana smokers do not face any problems according to him. Benedict insists that this study does not argue for legalizing marijuana.

The study results suggest a variety of interventions that include identifying young users through monitoring programs, helping school going children through peer groups that are health oriented, selective laws that are aimed at addressing marijuana users under certain conditions such as driving under influence and in cases where it affected public health.

Based on the frequency of usage, reasons for use including medical or social and age when first used, 1,303 Canadian marijuana users were placed into four different categories. Study showed conclusively that a majority of cannabis users did not experience any major health risk and used the drug infrequently.

Users who started earlier before 16 years of age and use the drug on an everyday basis were at greater health risk than those who started late and use the drug occasionally. Risks associated with frequent marijuana usage include exposure to other hard, illicit drugs, driving under influence, impact on mental and physical health and issues related to substance abuse.

In his report, Fischer stresses on targeting sub population users with interventions. He also questioned the effectiveness of taking the help of police in educating public about hazards of over use of cannabis in Canada. He opined that, not being public health officials, police are not equipped to deal with health education as they do not have enough knowledge on the subject. Study findings are being used by Fischer and his group to devise effective intervention for young marijuana users.

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