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Consuming Cannabis Responsibly

Responsible consumption is one of the government’s top priorities when it comes to the legalization of cannabis in Canada. If you are an adult who consumes cannabis, it is about knowing the rules and staying safe. This is not only to protect yourself and others, but most importantly to end the overall stigma. There are many factors involved in consuming responsibly, some practices are technical and some are subjective. Below are many examples of responsible practices everyone should learn for a safer experience for all.

NORML, a group who educates and advocates for consumers, considers the following principles as “responsible cannabis use.” First on their list; Cannabis is for adults only! Reminding users that it is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children, knowingly or unknowingly. Always keep products away from kids and animals, storing it properly out-of-reach and with a sturdy lock.

The next recommendation is to not drive or operate other dangerous machinery under the influence. It is important to know how long the effects are expected to last and designate a driver if needed. Another important principle is to respect government regulations and the rights of others and private property, including public consumption laws. It is important to know where you are allowed to consume; as each city and town has different laws.

An advocate from Canada, cANNIEbis educates others about using cannabis with intention and moderation, which is another aspect of consuming responsibly. Cautioning consumers about overuse and their responsibility to understand limits, to start low and go slow. Being self-aware and knowing if and when consumption has become problematic will ensure a safer experience, particularly for those with pre-existing addiction issues.

The Government of Canada recommends consumers avoid combining cannabis with alcohol or other substances, legal or not. Doing so will increase impairment, as combining the two enhances the human body’s capability to absorb THC. This is particularly dangerous for new users who don’t know their tolerance levels and may easily green-out.

These are all good principles for consumers to practice, particularly during a time when Canada has an opportunity to set an example for other countries. Consuming cannabis in the safest way possible will, over time, help to normalize its use in society.

References: NORMLGovernment of Alberta, Spiritleaf, The GrowthOp, Government of Canada.

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