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Groups representing doctors reject anti-drug campaign, say it would be political

OTTAWA - Three groups representing doctors say they will not take part in an anti-drug campaign by Health Canada that will target young people because it has become a political issue.

A statement issued Saturday by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada says they were invited to be involved in the campaign.

But the statement says the educational campaign has become a political football on Canada's marijuana policy.

It says the groups "did not, and do not, support or endorse any political messaging or political advertising on this issue."

However, the three organizations say they will continue working raise awareness of the health risks to young people from drugs and alcohol.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has slammed the federal government over the Health Canada proposal, saying it would in effect use taxpayers money to attack him because of his support for legalizing marijuana.

Health Canada issued a statement Saturday saying that it regularly seeks partnerships and consults doctors when formulating educational campaigns.

The agency says it will continue with advertising to raise awareness of the dangers to young people of marijuana and prescription drug use.

But it added: "We will not speculate on future campaigns."

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