The number of young Canadians who use recreational cannabis – despite not yet being legal age to consume it – are twice the rate of those aged 25 years old. That’s why one national organization is hoping to use a federal grant to implement educational programs and start conversations with younger people about cannabis use.
Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy was recently given a $428,535 grant from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program, which will be used to design a program that sparks sensible, age-appropriate, and evidence-informed conversations with Canadian youth aged 17 to 25 about cannabis.
“We are grateful to have this exceptional opportunity to advance cannabis education for young people, with educational initiatives that are for youth and by youth,” said Kira London-Nadeau, organization chair.
“This national project builds on our previous efforts to empower young people and create opportunities for evidence-based discussions, which is still critically needed for young people across the country.”
The two-year education program spins off the group’s 2018 Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth. That program, which included multilingual educational workshops and digital education tools has been downloaded over 2,000 times.
Marking two years since recreational cannabis was legalized in the country, the organization said it is a pivotal time to support evidence-informed resources, initiatives and programming on cannabis. Nationwide surveys suggest that prohibition did not prevent young people from using cannabis.
The funds will be used to further distribute the sensible cannabis toolkit, as well as organize online workshops across canada with a focus on peer leaders and further expand the toolkit to include brochures, social media alternatives and harm reduction materials.