About

High Stakes is a blog by me, Dr. Rebecca-Haines Saah. I am a health sociologist by training, and currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. At the University I am also a member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, where I co-lead the Population Health and Prevention Interest Group. My research focuses on adolescent mental health and substance use, in particular tobacco and cannabis use.

Since joining the University of Calgary as Faculty in early 2016, I have been focusing my research program on youth cannabis use and the public health policy implications of cannabis legalization in Canada, working with partners and stakeholders in community and government at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Beyond my current academic position, I have a longstanding history of work in policy research and development in child and adolescent mental health in Ontario and British Columbia. My research interests include drug policy reform, harm reduction, youth engagement in substance use education and prevention strategies, and creating opportunities for increased inclusion of people with lived experiences of drug use and their families in research and policy forums. I am a member of the Canadian Public Health Association’s Expert Reference Group on “A Public Health Approach to Cannabis (and Other Substances): Prevention, Health Promotion, Surveillance and Capacity Building.”

I considered calling this space “Stakes is High” after the seminal De La Soul album from 1996, but figured those who aren’t golden era hip-hop fans wouldn’t get the reference and would just think I had bad grammar.

I usually have quite a bit to say about cannabis policy on Twitter, and if you want to see academic papers that  I have written you can check out Google Scholar and PubMed.

The Media page has most of my recent print and broadcast interviews, as well as commentary pieces.