Why is non-medical cannabis use restricted to adults?
One of our top priorities is to protect the health and safety of youth. In order to protect youth, the Province of BC has restricted access to cannabis to adults age 19 years or older.
Youth may be especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis, as research shows that the brain is not fully developed until around age 25. The earlier you start using cannabis, the more harm it can do.
THC, the substance which gives the ‘high’ in cannabis, affects the same machinery in the brain that directs brain development. The higher the amount of THC in cannabis, the more likely one is to be harmed by it.
Cannabis use that begins in early adolescence, that is frequent and that continues over time is more likely to affect important aspects of your thinking, learning and memory, and some of those harms may never fully go away.
There are no legal means for a young person to obtain cannabis, and possessing it may result in legal consequences such as a fine or a ticket. It is illegal to buy cannabis for minors.
The best way for young people to protect their health is to not use cannabis.