Canada tests lower age for pot legalization

FILE -- Medical marijuana plants are seen growing in a special greenhouse. (AP photo)

TORONTO (AP) - The most controversial thing about Canada's move to legalize marijuana nationwide may be setting the minimum age for use at 18. That's three years lower than in U.S. states that have embraced legalization.

Advocates for the measure say putting the limit at 21 would encourage a black market and drive youths into the hands of criminals.

But health experts are worried that the provision will encourage use of a substance that can have long-term consequences on still-maturing brains.

The legislation introduced last month would make Canada the second country to have nationwide legalization, after Uruguay, which also set the minimum age at 18. While eight U.S. states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana, users there must be at least 21.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off