Canada to Invest Further $36.4M in Cannabis Education, Awareness and Surveillance
The Centre Block of the Canadian parliament buildings on Parliament Hill. Credit: Steven W. Dengler.
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The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of Canadian youth and the profits from criminals and organized crime. With this in mind, the Government intends to make significant investments in public education to inform Canadians, particularly youth and young adults, about the health and safety risks of cannabis.
The Canadian Government has now announced a new investment of $36.4M over the next five years for a cannabis education and awareness campaign. The funding will be used to inform Canadians, including youth and other priority populations such as Indigenous peoples, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and Canadians with a history of mental illness, of the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving.
“We are tackling the issue of cannabis use with long-term investments in our education and awareness efforts. We want to make sure all Canadians, particularly our young adults and youth, understand the health and safety risks of cannabis. These efforts also aim to equip parents and teachers with tools to have meaningful discussions with young Canadians about the risks of cannabis use.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
This new investment is in addition to the initial $9.6M over five years for a comprehensive public education and awareness campaign and surveillance activities announced in Budget 2017.
Public education and awareness efforts will include factual and evidence-based information on the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving. The campaign will build on ongoing social media efforts, advertising and interactive events to engage youth on the facts. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Government will expand its public education campaign to include information on the new laws, so Canadians will know what to expect in July 2018.
“In order to make informed choices, Canadians need the real facts about the health and safety risks of cannabis use. Like other substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, there are real potential harms to using them. We need to invest in public education and awareness about the potential consequences for the health and safety of Canadians who choose to use cannabis.”
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada