New Colorado Rules May Influence Canada

As of Oct. 1, edible cannabis products sold in Colorado must be labeled. 

The diamond-shaped stamp, with the letters THC, look like a WHMIS symbol for toxins.

The raison d’etre is, of course, “for the children,” since accidental ingestion by children went up after Colorado legalized.

Of course, those statistics could be skewed — it could be that parents were more willing to take their child to the hospital since it wouldn’t end with a jail sentence.

But, even if legalization is to blame, the Children’s Hospital Colorado has only reported a one per cent increase of accidental cannabis ingestion.

And the overall numbers are low. Researchers looking at Colorado admission data found that only 81 children were treated for accidental consumption between 2009 and 2015, and all of them were under the age of 10.

The authors of the study pinned the blame on “poor child supervision or product storage,” which Colorado’s regulations hope to overcome with child-proof packaging.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with labeling or child-proof packaging, but there’s nothing the state can do that will fix bad parenting and subpar supervision.

The problem with state regulations is that they often take advice from the wrong people.

As Canada shapes up its legalization efforts, health care professionals from around the country are giving their two cents on something they know little about.

The Ottawa Public Health Agency wants an age requirement of 25 years old, based on a bogus study that cannabis inhibits cognitive development.

Whereas the real culprit is likely tobacco, which you only have to be 18 to buy, the idea that adults between 18 and 24 lack the same rights as someone over 25 is ludicrous.

For insurance purposes, sometimes you need to be 25 to rent a car. This is a market-based restriction due to young people’s inexperience behind the wheel.

Car rental companies and insurance companies must operate by profit and loss accounting. They can’t accommodate a class that will compromise their bottom-line.

Governments don’t operate by such restrictions. The tax-man never stops collecting.

Excluding anyone under 25 from cannabis sales isn’t based on market experience, but the opinions of health-care busybodies who feel they have a duty to influence people’s bodies and lives through state coercion.

When it comes to cannabis, after years of stigmatization and promotion of pharmaceutical-models, these health care workers should have little-to-no authority on what constitutes “best practice.”

For example, Dr. Michael DiStefano, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, said that, “We’ve admitted kids who have ingested so much marijuana that they needed to be on a ventilator to help support their respiratory system.”

Is it possible these children were having anxiety attacks since they consumed so much and, certainly, going to the emergency room is no walk in the park?

I only mention it since it’s well-documented that cannabis, particularly THC, acts as a bronchodilator.

But are there any doctors out there prescribing cannabis for asthma?

Or would the College of Physicians and Surgeons nip that it the butt? Threaten to revoke and publicly ridicule any doctor that dares venture outside the 3×5 card of allowable opinion?

Labelling cannabis edibles is not a bad idea. But putting the state in charge is asking for trouble, as we’ve seen in Colorado, where the warnings and packaging are more severe than they are for alcohol.

Will Canada follow suit? Most likely, I wouldn’t be surprised if the legalization task farce recommends plain-packaging and zero tolerance on advertising.

Remember that next time you see an ad for beer, or when a child’s seizures stop because he or she consumed a potent cannabis edible.