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New Brunswick Medical Society Launches Public Education Campaign to Highlight Health Risks of Marijuana

In less than a year, marijuana will be legally available in New Brunswick and throughout Canada. In advance of legalization, the New Brunswick Medical Society is launching a new public education campaign to highlight the health risks that come with consuming marijuana.

“The legalization of marijuana doesn’t make it safe. It is important for people in New Brunswick to understand the risks,” said Dr. Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck, the president of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “The health risks inherent with the use of marijuana are clear, particularly for younger people. Like tobacco and alcohol, marijuana use can lead to negative health impacts.”

Earlier this year, the New Brunswick Medical Society offered the Government of New Brunswick a detailed series of recommendations on minimizing the harm caused by marijuana, including where and how it should be sold, testing for impaired drivers, a balanced consideration of marijuana’s economic impact, education campaigns directed at youth and the age of legal purchase.

Now the Society is taking its concerns about the health impacts of marijuana to all New Brunswickers through a social media campaign and educational materials. A new web site – LegalNotSafe.ca - will provide New Brunswickers with a better understanding of the health risks that come with marijuana use.

“We are concerned that the health risks inherent with marijuana are being lost in the face of anticipation of new tax revenues for the provincial government,” notes Dr. Murphy-Kaulbeck. “Well established research shows that marijuana correlates with addiction, worsening of substance abuse, cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorders and attention deficits. It’s been proven to significantly harm brain development in people under age 25.”

“Marijuana has real health risks, and New Brunswick’s doctors want our patients to recognize this fact before legalization comes into effect.”

The provincial government’s Select Committee on Cannabis is currently conducting hearings around the province in advance of setting regulations governing the sale of marijuana. Representatives from the New Brunswick Medical Society will appear before the committee when it holds hearings in Fredericton on July 28th.

Media Contact: Marcelle Saulnier, Communications, New Brunswick Medical Society, (506) 462-4649

Founded in 1867, the New Brunswick Medical Society is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers. Over a hundred New Brunswick doctors sit on our Board and Committees, representing the 1600 doctors in the province.