HRI Senior Scientist contributes to national discussions on the legalization of cannabis

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As Canada enters its second month following the nationwide legalization of cannabis, Dr. James MacKillop, HRI Senior Scientist and Director of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research and the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, is encouraging Canadians to think critically about cannabis use.

“Legalization has prompted an intense national discussion on cannabis, which is a very good thing”, says Dr. MacKillop.

“But the discussion needs to focus on facts and evidence, rather than opinion and anecdote. We need to think critically about where cannabis fits into the larger landscape, both as a recreational drug and as a potential treatment.”

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Dr. MacKillop has contributed to a number of influential discussions aimed at helping Canadians make informed decisions about marijuana use:

Dr. MacKillop also led a recent roundtable discussion exploring the impact, benefits and risks of cannabis, as well as opportunities to advance research. Hosted by the Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research, the roundtable involved stakeholders from across the mental health and addiction research community.

The bottom line: more research funding is needed to separate fact from fiction when it comes to cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes.

Dr. MacKillop is recognized as a leading national expert on cannabis. His research integrates perspectives from psychology, psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience, and behavioral genetics to improve our understanding of psychoactive drugs.

Recently, Dr. MacKillop was awarded the 2018 Anne and Neil McArthur Research Award from St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

This award is presented to an internationally recognized researcher whose field of study is also a focus of research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

Congratulations, Dr. MacKillop, on this much-deserved honour.