Manitoba Launches ‘Know the Risks’ Campaign Surrounding Cannabis Legalization

Manitoba Launches ‘Know the Risks’ Campaign Surrounding Cannabis Legalization

Marijuana
Flowering marijuana plants are pictured during a tour of Tweed in Smiths Falls, Ontario on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

WINNIPEG — With cannabis becoming legal in one week, the Manitoba government has unveiled a campaign to educate the public on the risks associated with using pot.

The health and safety campaign is focusing on three main messages: “cannabis can be addictive,” “cannabis can cause depression and anxiety” and “street cannabis isn’t worth the risk.”

“First and foremost, we are concerned about the health and safety of Manitobans. We have taken steps to make health the priority as we prepare for the federal legalization of cannabis,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.

“This includes legislative changes such as updates to The Non-Smokers Health Protection and Vapour Products Act to protect against second-hand smoke as well as public education initiatives.”

The government also wants to ensure Manitobans know the laws surrounding legal cannabis on October 17, such as individuals must be 19-years-old or older to possess and use cannabis. Other rules include only buying from licensed retailers, carrying up to 30 grams in public, not using cannabis in public places and not growing it at home.

The province has also finalized a policy for civil servants that says they must not smell of alcohol or cannabis, and can be made to undergo drug or alcohol testing if their managers believe they are under the influence.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says there will be no government-wide minimum time that employees must abstain from cannabis before work, but some departments may implement that for certain jobs.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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