University of Guelph president Franco Vaccarino discussed pending legalization of cannabis in Canada on CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup this past weekend.
The national open-line radio program features a live discussion on a topic of importance to Canadians.
Rates of cannabis use in Canada are among the highest in the world, and marijuana remains the most commonly used illegal drug among Canadian youth between ages 15 and 24.
A neuroscientist and an internationally recognized expert on addiction, Vaccarino discussed how legalization might affect universities and university students, and the importance of educating people about risks. University students are particularly susceptible because of age, living away from home for the first time, and onset of mental health challenges, he said. (To hear his interview, forward to 32:15 in the episode).
He published a Globe and Mail op-ed on the topic in March.
Other guests on the May 13 show were police chiefs and the parliamentary secretary to the federal Minister of Justice.
Vaccarino was a principal editor of a 2016 national report from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) on effects of early and frequent marijuana use during adolescence.
A professor in U of G’s Department of Psychology, he co-chairs CCSA’s scientific advisory council and contributed to the development of the World Health Organization’s first-ever authoritative report on the biological basis of addiction. Vaccarino is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.