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Scores of Canadians face barriers to travel and work because they were caught with marijuana, which the government now intends to legalize.Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

The federally funded agency that studies addiction is embarking on a four city tour to warn about the effects of marijuana on young people.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse opens the tour in Halifax today with a panel of three experts.

Dr. Amy Porath-Waller, the centre's director of research and policy, says the aim is to get a conversation started on how to protect those under 25.

She says research indicates the risks are greater for younger people who use marijuana because their brains are still in development.

And while there are gaps in areas of the research, Porath-Waller says there is evidence of emerging trends such as the risk of addiction.

She says the idea of the panel presentations is to engage those dealing with youth including doctors, teachers, guidance counsellors and parents.

Future panel discussions are to be held next month in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.