This is a new publication by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse which examined youth perceptions about marijuana.
Canada is planning on legalizing recreational use of marijuana on a national level as soon 2017, while the US continues to expand its legalization efforts on a state and district-wide basis.
What Canada learns about the gaps in evidence-based knowledge and myths about marijuana by their youth has implications not only for Canadian parents, teachers and youth, but for US prevention, education and awareness efforts as well.
One of the findings from this study, which used a qualitative approach using a series of focus groups, was that youth continue to view marijuana as not harmful. In addition, youth feedback reflected a number of risk factors, including perceived use among peers, low parental monitoring, and availability and acceptance of marijuana by others.
These key factors should be targeted in future marijuana education, awareness and prevention efforts for youth, parents and communities.
The report also provided three important suggestions for improving prevention and policy. These included:
1) Provide clear, targeted messages about marijuana to youth addressing law enforcement and laws, risks to impaired driving, and marijuana impairment.
2) Increase education and mental health resources for youth to make informed decisions regarding marijuana and substance use.
3) Increase parental involvement and community-wide initiatives to deliver prevention.
Because there is a notable lack of evidence-informed marijuana education and awareness resources in Canada and the US, Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) developed the ready-to-use Marijuana Awareness Media Campaign (http://preventionpluswellness.com/marijuana-awareness-media-campaign/).
PPW is committed to bringing youth, parents and professionals the latest evidence-informed information, news, strategies and research regarding marijuana risks and educational tools.
Read the entire research report: http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/CCSA-Canadian-Youth-Perceptions-on-Cannabis-Report-2017-en.pdf
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