Canadian parents concerned about legalization of cannabis; say not enough info about risks to kids

With cannabis legalization just six weeks away, an Environics Research survey commissioned by Organigram found that six-in-ten parents are concerned, and more than half say not enough information is available to youth about the risks.

Less than a third feel “very prepared” to educate their children about cannabis.

Organigram chief commercial officer Ray Gracewood said the industry should be taking “pulse checks” as legalization draws near.

“By asking parents how they feel, we get a real-time sense of not only what’s keeping Canadian parents up at night, but the opportunities we have, as a company and as an industry, and in collaboration with healthcare professionals and educators, to address their concerns, he said.

“If the safety of youth is a priority of legalization, this discussion is critical.”

The survey also found that only 46 cent of parents with kids aged four and up have discussed cannabis with their children.

The majority say physicians and other healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of information .

Nearly nine-in-ten said the top priority is making sure that kids don’t drive under the influence of cannabis.

Other top priorities include: the negative health effects on children; teaching kids how to turn down offers to use cannabis; and the risk of use with other substances.

Chief medical officer of medical service provider Aleafia Health said that parents need to start having conversations health providers now.

“Knowledge is power and will be key to proactive, open dialogue in Canadian homes,” said Dr. Michael Verbora.

Frank discussion and well-informed families will help protect youth in this new era of cannabis legalization,” he said.

Organigram already supports responsible cannabis use and harms reduction initiatives including those developed by the New Brunswick government and Mount Allison University.

Organigram CEO Greg Engel said the most important goal of cannabis legalization is the protection of Canadian youth.

“As a company, we will continue to support the education of Canadians about cannabis and will continue to collaborate with those on the front lines of this discussion,” he said.

Organigram recently launched a Parent Resource Library on its website, which provides access to educational information from sources including the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse and Addiction, the Government of New Brunswick and Health Canada.

The Government of Canada recently announced the launch of an educational campaign aimed at kids.

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