I contributed to this briefing developed by the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering on cannabis to coincide with legalization in Canada this past October.
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Last year I became involved with a project from the Canadian Public Health Association on, “A Public Health Approach to Cannabis (and Other Substances): Prevention, Health Promotion, Surveillance, and Capacity Building”. With funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program, the focus of this work is to support a public health approach to cannabis and to engage with health, public health and social service communities to enhance their knowledge of, and capacity to address issues related to cannabis and other substance use. In addition to hosting knowledge mobilization activities in communities across the country and carrying out a survey of health and social service providers’ information needs about cannabis, the CPHA is hosting a webinar series on cannabis and public health. The goal of these webinars is to ensure that public health, health and social service providers in Canada are prepared to respond to the needs of people who use cannabis and to provide unbiased and non-judgmental support and advice.
The next webinar is on March 8, “Legalizing cannabis – Clearing the Smoke” from Dr. Elaine Hyshka from the University of Alberta. You can register here.
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.
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.