Young adults shouldn't get used to smoking cannabis: the Quebec government hopes to raise the minimum legal age to 21 by the end of the year.

“I think it's important to send a strong message that we want to protect our youth,” said Junior Health and Social Services Minister Lionel Carmant Wednesday on his way into a cabinet meeting.

Carmant confirmed the CAQ’s plan to prioritize the file, saying the government was working on legislation to fulfill the electoral promise.

He also said he would be in charge of the dossier, instead of Justice Minister Sonia Lebel, whom Premier Francois Legault said last week would be in charge of changing cannabis legalization legislation.

Carmant, who is a doctor, said the main goal was to protect the developing minds of children and young adults.

"We are worried about psychiatric complications involving children," he said. “There's obviously evidence that it can lead to damage when it's used below the age of 25, so we're going to pick 21 as an age which is responsible for everyone.”