OTTAWA - Youth health experts say legalization of recreational marijuana should be accompanied by extensive public-education and prevention campaigns.

They told a Commons committee studying the Liberal government's legislation yesterday that the public should be made aware of the serious risks of pot consumption on adolescent brains.

Ottawa plans to legalize cannabis for adults 18 and older within 10 months.

But some provinces and police services are warning the federal timeline is far too tight for them to properly prepare for such a major change.

Now, the government is facing demands to do everything possible to ensure young Canadians and their parents are ready for legalization.

Several witnesses said there's little chance stronger regulation will deter youth from consuming pot.

Therefore, they recommended the government work hard to dispel the notion marijuana is harmless.