On September 19, 2023, UNITE co-sponsored a conference on Cannabis and Adolescent Health in the Portuguese Parliament. The 1-day conference was organized by the Citizens Initiative on Cannabis, under the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Portugal, and with the institutional support of the Ministry of Health, and the General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD).
The event featured presentations by experts and researchers on the health impacts of cannabis on adolescents and discussed the policy implications of the findings, including experiences from cannabis legalization in Canada. The conference also featured a roundtable discussion of representatives of all parties in parliament, sharing their perspectives on the legal regulation of cannabis for recreational use in Portugal.
From a Public Health point of view, how can we reduce the potential negative health impact of cannabis?
Experts argued that legalization seems to be the way forward, as it gives back control on the products to the state and legal entities. The main goals of regulation are to prioritize public health through product quality control, and to reduce or ideally disappear the illicit market.