Cannabis education should aim to normalize — not prevent — safe and legal use

Growth op

Many of us grew up in a society that prohibited the use of cannabis. When cannabis was legalized in 2018, it was a major shift for most Canadians. How successful have we been in changing the mindset from it being an illegal and stigmatized drug to one that is legal and socially acceptable? Education about cannabis has been inconsistent across Canada.  Evidence to support the best approach  for cannabis education and awareness campaigns is lacking and historically focused on risk-based messages to encourage people to “do not use.” However, in this new legal environment we need to shift our focus to normalizing, or destigmatizing, cannabis use and educating on how to consume it responsibly and safely. While  this shift was identified  at the time of legalization, as a society we still have a ways to go to meet these goals. Canadian cannabis companies turn to art to connect with consumers Celebrating those who break the grass ceiling Meet the cannabis moms and entrepreneurs that Facebook and Instagram are banning With the goal of legalization to “ protect public health and safety ,” how do we make sure the public is empowered to make informed choices? Our research team  in Newfoundland and Labrador is interested in figuring out how legalization has affected health and safety, and has identified education as a priority. Why educate An international cannabis study survey  showed that almost 90 per cent of cannabis consumers partake in some kind of higher-risk consumption behaviour, such as using high-potency products or smoking as the main way of consumption, which is considered high-risk because of its harmful effects on the respiratory system. Vaping or edibles are preferable, although any mode of consumption has risks (for example, because edibles such as cannabis gummies work more slowly, there is a risk of eating…

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