Category Archives: Provincial outreach

NWT Government: Cannabis and Health Webinar

I was really happy to be invited by the Government of the Northwest Territories to kick off their Cannabis and Health webinar series. Below is a link to the recording of one of three sessions I recorded and presented live today, this one targeted to high school students. This was my first trip up north and it was great. The people I met were really receptive to the need for a public health approach to legalization and generally positive about the need for youth education approaches that do not only focus on harms.

This was also my first time in front of a teen audience in a long time and I have to admit I found it a bit challenging (and fairly nerve-wracking!), given how much I talk about what we should not be doing in youth drug education. Overall my main intent was to be clear and honest with young people about “what we know for sure,”  where the science is still uncertain, and also the concrete steps people can take to reduce harms and to use more safely if they make the choice to use cannabis. A big thanks to Dr. Corriveau and team for hosting me – I will definitely be back when I have more time to explore. Also, a special shout-out to Shelley Wiart, who wrote a nice profile in advance of my visit that was published in the Yellowknifer. Shelley is from Yellowknife and a fierce advocate for Indigenous women’s health – truly an honour to know her and to be included under the banner of Women Warriors.

I framed this talk around the “Top Ten Myths and Facts about Cannabis” that I think are important to share. In addition to what I know from the literature and from doing research with youth, I drew heavily from our CYCLES manual, the Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, the Health Canada “Your Cannabis Questions” website, and the excellent resource from the CSSDP, the Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit. The webinar is available on YouTube.

Cannabis & Public Health: Forum Highlight Video

In May of 2017 I was the lead co-organizer of the public forum Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Implications for Public Health in Alberta, along with Peter Fenwick from the Canadian College of Health Leaders (Southern Alberta Chapter). The Forum was the first province-wide event to focus on cannabis and public health and attracted researchers, decision-makers, health professionals, as well as members of the public, medical cannabis users, and people working in or with the cannabis industry. I produced this highlight video to capture the best of the day, and all of the speaker talks and panels are posted on the O’Brien Institute for Public Health’s YouTube channel.

Event Program & Speaker Bios
Summary & Speaker Slides

Thanks to the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, The Canadian College of Health Leaders – Southern Alberta Chapter, the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and to Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse- Prairie Node, for providing support for this event.