P.E.I. pharmacists warn about mixing medication with cannabis

Pharmacists on P.E.I. are reminding Islanders that marijuana has health risks even though it will become legal.

Users should be aware of cannabis risks, says pharmacists' association

Cannabis consumption can be particularly harmful for people under the age of 25 because it can interfere with their brain development, says Erin MacKenzie. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Pharmacists on P.E.I. are reminding Islanders that just because marijuana will become legal doesn't mean there are no health risks.

Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the PEI Pharmacists Association, said there are medications that can be problematic when combined with cannabis.  

"Certainly compounding drowsiness or the ability to make good judgments, those types of things would be compounded with other medications that have those risks as well," she said.

Cannabis consumption can be particularly harmful for people under the age of 25 because it can interfere with their brain development, MacKenzie said.

​The PEI Liquor Control Commission has said it will open four government-owned cannabis locations in the province this year. MacKenzie noted the cannabis outlet in Charlottetown will be in a strip mall not far from the University of Prince Edward Island.

'Risks that have to be weighed'

"Just because cannabis is suddenly going to be legal it does not mean that has the stamp of approval of being a safe product," she said. "There are risks that have to be weighed before someone makes the decision to use or not."

MacKenzie said pharmacists and other health-care professionals will be carefully monitoring the rollout of cannabis.

"We have had indication that there will be a larger subset of the population using cannabis once it's legalized. We'll have to see what that looks like."

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With files from Island Morning