Article by Stockhouse
Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (“CSSDP”) announce the next phase of their Get Sensible cannabis education campaign with the launch of their website getsensible.org and two recently hosted youth-focused cannabis roundtable discussions, facilitated on March 24th and 25th.
The discussions were co-led by 4 newly hired Peer Leaders and attended by 35 youth (17-25 years of age) from across the country and included dialogue on a variety of topics related to cannabis: criminalization, harm reduction, education, mental health and wellbeing. Get Sensible plans to host additional roundtables throughout 2021-22 that will focus on specific communities with deeper examination of topics relevant to their experiences.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to create spaces to talk about this stuff. I was a teenaged stoner, and experienced a lot of shame and stigma because of it- especially navigating mental health challenges” said Heath D’Alessio, Get Sensible‘sProject Facilitator. “I only learned about harm reduction in college- I wish I knew about it sooner. Now we have this chance to share information and evidence with young people, but also sit with them and say ‘it’s okay if you smoke weed- let’s talk about it.'”
Most recent statistics from the 2020 Canadian Cannabis Survey revealed that “people between the ages of 16 to 24 years reported cannabis use in the past year at a percentage that was approximately double that of those 25 years and older.” So while one of the key priorities for Canada’s cannabis legalization continues to emphasize protecting youth from the harmful effects of cannabis use, the Get Sensible campaign provides opportunities for young people to be engaged in co-creating and co-leading cannabis education, and supporting harm reduction in hard-to-reach youth communities.