Public health officials have two major concerns about the upcoming federal legalization of marijuana.
Medical Resident Dr. Piotr Oglaza gave a report to the Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health on Wednesday.
Oglaza says the health unit staff will be undertaking enforcement of the legislation as it does for tobacco, and undertaking an education program.
He says marijuana is similar to alcohol and there is already some concern regarding impaired driving.
He says it will affect brain development in young people, and there is a concern about people with serious mental health issues.
Oglaza says it’s not yet clear how much work will be involved. Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Gemmell recently indicated an extra enforcement officer could cost $75,000 a year.
The Board has written to the provincial government seeking funding from the cannabis tax. The City of Belleville has also written to the government indicating a portion of the taxes collected should go toward paying for the education and enforcement associated with the new legislation.
The federal government is expected to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis in Canada later this year.