Thank you, Ms. Gladu.
Essentially, my first-hand experience as an emergency physician for the past 14 years has been recognizing an exponential increase in the usage of cannabis in patients presenting to the emergency department.
Really highlighting your point on public awareness, one of the things I brought up in my address earlier was this concept of a medical condition that's only now starting to become recognized and studied. It's referred to as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome or cyclical vomiting syndrome. This is a condition where mostly young people, young adults, will present themselves to the ER department after days of uncontrollable vomiting, not knowing themselves what the cause might be. After an extensive panel of medical tests are conducted and we conclude that there is nothing medically or organically wrong with them, we then begin questioning them a bit more thoroughly on their use of cannabis and discover, quite often, that they are using cannabis on a fairly regular basis. They themselves often believe that they are well-informed in regard to the harms of this drug. When we educate them on the likely association of their cannabis use and the cyclical vomiting syndrome, they're often quite surprised. When we provide them with additional information and counselling on how to abstain from cannabis use, we often see this debilitating condition essentially disappear.
I think that speaks very much to your point that, as much as people may believe they are aware of the health risks associated with cannabis, there needs to be a more focused effort on providing more relevant and important information to the consumers of this drug.