Cannabis Debate Essay

1956 Words 8 Pages
Introduction
The percentage of Canadian youth who report using cannabis has been cited as the highest in the developed world (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 2016b). According to United Nations Children’s Fund Office of Research, in 2013 twenty-eight percent of Canadian Children aged 11 to 15 admitted to using cannabis at least once in the past year. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) (2016b) reported as much as 7% of adolescents smoke marijuana every single day; making Canadian youth top cannabis consumers. Article 33 of the UNCRC states that governments should use all means possible to protect children from use of harmful drugs (United Nations, 1989); the literature suggests government officials are not doing enough to uphold
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The devastating effects cannabis use can have on youth development needs to be acknowledged. Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children argues it actually makes economic sense to make children a higher priority in public policy and invest in youth development.
The best interest of the whole child needs to be given paramount consideration. More support systems need to be in place to reduce disparities; investments need to be made in community services that benefit all children. Youth need to be treated with respect and their rights need to be supported so that they can become fully contributing members of society.
According to the UNCRC (2012) struggles with mental health, violence, exploitation and abuse are issues that demand attention. High rates of cannabis can be correlated with these issues, thus, investing in and really beginning to address these outstanding issues will help ultimately help reduce cannabis rates among youth. Canada needs to focus on developing the full potential of every child. It is not acceptable for a well developed country to let children fall through the cracks of fragmented health and social support systems. Investing in the healthy development of every child will pay big dividends for a productive

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