New Brunswick

New Brunswick taking 'wrong approach' on marijuana, says doctor

The Gallant government is misguided in looking to marijuana to boost the future economic growth of New Brunswick, says the Canadian Mental Health Association's director of the institute for mental health policy research.

Dr. Jurgen Rehm of Canadian Mental Health Association says province needs to remember the costs of drug

Researchers urge caution as Gallant government bets on pot decriminalization for economic activity

6 years ago
Duration 7:33
The recent economic plan highlights pot as one of New Brunswick's key growth industries. But Dr. Jurgen Rehm of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Toronto is urging caution.

The Gallant government is misguided in looking to marijuana to boost the future economic growth of New Brunswick, says the Canadian Mental Health Association's director of the institute for mental health policy research.

Legalized and medicinal marijuana figures heavily into the economic plan released by the premier last week.

"This is the wrong approach," Dr. Jurgen Rehm said Monday on CBC News New Brunswick.

"Any kind of substances which are psychoactive, from alcohol to marijuana to tobacco, have also costs — public health costs.

"To just look at them from an entrepreneurial perspective and from tax dollars is the wrong approach."

The Trudeau government in Ottawa has said it will legalize marijuana in 2017.

The provincial government's economic plan lists marijuana as one opportunity being pursued for economic growth.

"New Brunswick already has one marijuana production facility, another in the development phase, and other potential opportunities," states the plan.

"Fredericton-based RPC is the country's leading tester of medical marijuana and has additional testing capacity. Federal/provincial research facilities in New Brunswick have capabilities that could be leveraged to maximize the potential of this new industry"

With files from CBC News New Brunswick

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