With the national October 17th deadline for recreational marijuana legalization fast approaching, officials are scrambling to prepare for the sudden launch of a new market.
Across the country, private and public dispensary locations are undergoing renovation to confrom to strict provincial and federal rules, a new public ad campaign aims to educate Canadians on marijuana consumption, and law-makers are combing over the currently contradictory drug enforcement legal code.
But pot enthusiasts have long pointed to the undeniable benefits of legalization. The new market will lead to an economic boom. Canadians will also have more access to a drug with proven medical benefits.
So, many assumed that Canadian doctors would be largely supportive of a measure that would allow a more public conversation about the effects of marijuana.
But a new poll shows that doctors are anything but eager.
Data from MD Analytics shows that almost half, a whopping 47%, of Canadian physicians oppose legalization.
Of those doctors, 87% anticipate a dramatic increase in cases of "psychotic symptoms."
Marijuana is known to lead to psychosis in some cases, but such widespread fear among the medical community is a stunning rebuke of a drug celebrated for its health benefits.
Indeed, on paper, such intense concern reads more like social anxiety than well-founded criticism.
Those same respondents also predict more cases of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
It is true that there needs to be more publicly circulated information about the effects of marijuana. But only time will tell if these doctors' concerns actually manifest.
In the meantime, stay safe and informed when it comes to marijuana consumption after October 17th. Talk to your doctor if you're curious about the drug.
You can check out the full survey here.