The upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis will have implications for municipal governments, their communities and for public health. This session addresses topical issues related to anticipated recreational cannabis legalization from public health and municipal perspectives. From a municipal perspective, Craig Reid will discuss expected local impacts due to implementation, including policing and by-law enforcement. He will further focus on short-term and long- term impacts of cannabis legalization and potential opportunities for community investments and benefits, for example, youth and community resilience to build a virtuous cycle.
Dr. Lawrence Loh will provide a public health perspective, discussing a strong approach to inform the legalization and regulation of cannabis. He will also address the potential impact of legalization on population health, as well as issues related to protecting public health and safety, protecting vulnerable citizens, and risk mitigation.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• List the roles of municipalities and public health in recreational cannabis legalization
• Describe a strong public health approach to inform the legalization and regulation of cannabis
• Identify the short and long term risks and opportunities for communities and their residents, including impact on population health
• Discuss risk mitigation strategies, how to protect public health and safety, and how to protect the most vulnerable citizens
Presenters: Craig Reid and Dr. Lawrence Loh
Craig Reid is a Senior Advisor with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. His areas of expertise include: cannabis, infrastructure, sharing economy, trade and water from a municipal policy perspective. Craig has been with the AMO since 2007, and prior to this he worked in the Ontario provincial government with several ministries.
In his role at Peel Public Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh oversees the Health Protection division (consisting of Environmental Health and Immunization Records), the Healthy Built Environment portfolio, as well as the department's strategic priorities around tobacco, digital records, and physician outreach. His work as faculty at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto has included research into global health training experiences and teaching with the public health and preventive medicine residency program.
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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