Health Canada spends $1.5 M to re air ads on prescription drugs and pot

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Photo courtesy: CBC

The Canadian Press

Ottawa: Health Canada is spending $1.5 million reintroducing controversial ads on prescription drugs and pot in the run-up to the fall election.

The federal health agency began re-airing ads today that will run on TV and online until Aug. 8.

Health Minister Ron Ambrose says the ads illustrate the harmful effects of prescription drug abuse and the impact of marijuana use on the developing brains of teenagers.

The government will turn off the publicly funded advertising taps when the writ drops, expected after Labour Day as a result of October’s fixed-election date.

The original installation of the taxpayer-funded marijuana ads ran alongside a radio ad campaign paid for by the Conservative party, which took aim at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over his promise to legalize and regulate marijuana.

The Canadian Medical Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada refused to endorse the campaign, saying it had become a “political football on Canada’s marijuana policy.”

© 2015 The Canadian Press