Principles of Responsible UseResponsible cannabis patients come from all walks of life and are good, contributing members of society. They are able to use cannabis without problems in social settings or at home for relaxation, medical or spiritual purposes, sensory and creativity enhancement among other personal reasons. When integrated into a healthy, balanced and responsible lifestyle, cannabis is a positive and highly beneficial part of our lives. Like anything else, however, too much of a good thing can be misused or abused. Like any medicine, cannabis can be misused. Excessive or inappropriate use can contribute to problems including sleeplessness, overeating, and time management issues. Always listen to the advice of your doctor and use good judgment when using medical cannabis. These guidelines help identify ways of using medical cannabis in a positive way.
The key points to the Principles of Responsible Use are as follows.
- Cannabis consumption is for adults only. Many things and activities are suitable for young people, but others absolutely are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts or marry, and they must not use drugs.
- The responsible cannabis user does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery impaired by cannabis. Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, public safety demands that impaired drivers be taken off the road and that objective measures of impairment be developed and used, rather than chemical testing.
- The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her setting and regulate use accordingly. The responsible cannabis patient will be vigilant as to conditions -- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conducive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.
- Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse and should be resisted by responsible cannabis users. Abuse means harm. Some cannabis use is harmful; most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged; that which is not need not be.
- The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis, responsible users will adhere to emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places.
- Adults should only use cannabis as part of a healthy, balanced, and responsible lifestyle
- The decision to use cannabis should be made freely, and not as a result of social pressure.
- Cannabis users should be well informed about its effects on themselves and others. These effects include legal risks, health risks, and personal consequences.
- Never use cannabis as an excuse for antisocial or irresponsible behavior.
- Cannabis users should model and reward responsible use, particularly with new users.
- Develop sensible cannabis use limits for yourself based on personal, health, situational, and cultural factors. It is important to be objective about your personal cannabis use and listen to the constructive advice of others.
- Avoid cannabis use that puts you or others at risk, such as when driving, at work, or in public places. Remember, personal use of cannabis is still illegal under federal law, and penalties are stiff.
- Use of cannabis by children is inappropriate.
- Cannabis use should contribute to, rather than detract from, a patient’s health, well-being, creativity, work relationships, and social obligations.