L’éducation des jeunes sur le cannabis

L’éducation des jeunes sur le cannabis

Avec la légalisation récente du cannabis à des fins récréatives ainsi que des crises liées aux politiques sur les drogues à travers le monde, il importe que nous fassions des avancées vers l’éducation des jeunes, commençant avec les données probantes. Nous aimerions remercier Canopy Growth Corporation pour leur soutien d’Étudiant.es Canadien.nes pour les Politiques Éclairées sur les Substances Psychoactives (ÉCPÉSP) et de ce projet pour l’éducation des jeunes au sujet du cannabis par la voie d’une subvention sans restriction!


Des approches éclairées pour la légalisation et l’éducation

S’alignant avec le mandat d’ÉCPÉSP de soutenir les efforts d’éducation sur les drogues et s’appuyant sur les consultations avec les jeunes sur la légalisation du cannabis effectuées au Canada, cette référence répond aux besoins de développement de ressources réalistes et basées sur les faits pour l’éducation sur le cannabis pour les jeunes. Créée pour les éducatrices/teurs ainsi que pour les parents, cette référence vise à soutenir les adultes pour qu’ils/elles puissent avoir des conversations informées et ouvertes avec les jeunes.

Sensible Cannabis Toolkit

Sensible Cannabis Toolkit

We are excited to share our newest resource, “Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth,” after 8 months of hard work. With legalization around the corner and drug policy crises around the world, it’s important we take smart first steps towards educating youth, starting with the evidence. We’d like to thank Canopy Growth Corporation for supporting this youth cannabis education project through an unrestricted grant to Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy!


Sensible approaches to legalization and education

Aligning with CSSDP’s mandate to support drug education efforts and building upon youth consultations on cannabis legalization conducted in Canada, this toolkit responds to calls for the development of realistic and evidence-based cannabis education for youth. Created for educators, as well as parents, this resource aims to support adults in having informed and non-judgmental conversations with young people.

Protecting youth

Given that cannabis remains the most popular illegal drug consumed by young people in Canada, as well as Canada’s pending legalization and regulation of cannabis, the development of new cannabis education for youth is of critical importance, and a key aspect of developing young people’s health literacy. The legalization of cannabis in Canada provides an opportunity to revise our approach to cannabis education for youth and consider pragmatic youth education which is inclusive of both prevention and harm reduction to maximize effectiveness and protect all youth.

Evidence-based education

Generally, the central purposes of drug education are to provide accurate information and awareness of resources, develop decision making skills and health literacy, reduce risks of consumption, and support increasing an individual’s risk competency. However, this toolkit goes beyond these mandates.


The Sensible Cannabis Education toolkit

The toolkit is broken into two parts. The first section highlights ten guiding principles for conducting cannabis education with young people. In this section, the concepts and values important to the delivery and implementation of cannabis education for youth are discussed. Although outlined in the context of cannabis, these principles are also applicable to education on other substances. Emerging from our review of the available literature, we offer ten guiding principles for cannabis education:

  • Education grounded in evidence-based information
  • Non-judgmental, open dialogue that uses interactive approaches
  • Meaningful inclusion
  • Delivery by a trained facilitator or peer
  • Starting education earlier with age-appropriate content
  • Supporting parents to have age appropriate and open conversations
  • Inclusion of harm reduction
  • Education tailored to the specific context
  • Ongoing education available to youth
  • Attention to overlapping issues of racism, social justice, and stigma

The second section focuses on content that merits inclusion in a comprehensive cannabis education curriculum for young people, including evidence-based information about cannabis, its use and effects, as well as harm reduction strategies. This is meant to help educators and parents familiarize themselves with cannabis and cannabis use, and can be used as a resource to assist in the information delivery component of a comprehensive cannabis education program. This section also addresses many common claims made about youth cannabis use, such as what the research can tell us about the impacts on the developing brain, the gateway theory, and provides educators with a background on legalization, particularly as it pertains youth, to help ground their approach. We believe this approach can allow for flexibility and provide insights into how youth cannabis education can be operationalized in practice, as well as further refined and improved.

Below, we highlight some key points from our review, in addition to our ten principles for approaching drug education. Happy reading!

The CSSDP Team

Key points around sensible cannabis education:


Legal regulation of cannabis offers an opportunity for more pragmatic “cannabis conversations”– the same old approach repackaged will likely miss the mark.


In light of relatively high use rates among youth, we need education within a legalized context which serves youth who don’t use cannabis – but also youth who are already using cannabis. Drug education and cannabis conversations should be inclusive of both prevention and harm reduction in order to maximize effectiveness and protect all youth. “Just say no” might work for some youth, some of the time, but does a disservice to youth who may already be using cannabis.


Youth inclusion

It’s critical to involve youth in program design and implementation to ensure key messaging resonates with their experiences – these approaches and programs must be prioritized.

Youth education

While there is no silver bullet approach to talking to youth, access to evidence based drug education is critical for young people, their health literacy and well-being – globally, pragmatic drug education is critical for young people to achieve the highest attainable standard of health.

Harm reduction

It is also important to note some youth will choose to use cannabis no matter what resource or information is provide – cannabis will remain an illegal substance for youth under the age of 18 or 19, but what can change is our approach to educating youth on what will be a legal and regulated substance in Canada.

Key points around harms:

Please see summary chart, p.67 of toolkit and full report (Section 2.5) for references.


It’s important to acknowledge harms and risks around cannabis and youth is still developing, but most young people who use cannabis do so infrequently and do not experience significant harms.

Adult use

We need to consider how we can establish norms around “appropriate adult use” of cannabis much like we have with alcohol consumption.

More research

More long term controlled studies are needed to truly assess the impact of cannabis on youth and to make claims around causality, and much of the available literature pertains to samples of youth who are frequent or chronic cannabis use, which is not representative of the majority of youth who use cannabis.


Research suggests a relationship exists between early, heavy cannabis use and impairments in cognition, as well as mental health outcomes, but any strong conclusions around causality (i.e. that cannabis was the direct cause of outcome), direction (i.e. which came first? are some youth more inclined to seek out risk behaviours?), and magnitude (i.e. strength of relationship) are not available, mostly due to lack or research.


Critical to this conversation is thinking about the role of confounders which are not often accounted for in this discussion. For example, we know social demographics, such as socio-economic status, as well as the use of other substance use (such as alcohol), are critical to this conversation and outcomes (i.e. growing up in a poor neighbourhood or using alcohol also has impacts on brain development in and of themselves which are often not accounted for in this work).


Preliminary evidence suggests heavy cannabis use during youth may be linked to lower IQ, but there is also additional work to suggest this is reversed after a period of abstinence. Again, the research is unclear around if cannabis is the cause, and there is also evidence that suggests when confounders (such as socio-economic status) are considered, cannabis use is not associated with a decline in IQ or educational attainment.


Research has found an association between cannabis use and schizophrenia, but causality, direction, or strength of that relationship is still unclear. It may be the case that early initiation of cannabis use leads to an increased risk of early onset of schizophrenia, especially for those with a preexisting vulnerability and those who use cannabis daily. Third variables (i.e., sociodemographic factors, poly-substance use) make it more difficult to depict a clear picture. It may also be the case that some youth are using cannabis to alleviate symptoms of mental illness or to self-medicate.

The gateway theory

The majority of people who use cannabis do not transition to “harder” illegal drugs. While people who use cannabis (particularly early onset and/or regular users) are more likely to report having used other drugs compared to non-users, there is no evidence to suggest that the use of cannabis causes an increase in the risk of using other drugs. Some have suggested a variety of alternative explanations, such as thrill-seeking behaviours more generally.

Lung Cancer

The evidence of a causal relationship between cannabis and lung cancer remains inconclusive. The evidence is also limited because many relevant studies do not account for simultaneous tobacco use, which has a proven causal relationship to lung cancer. Studies have suggested tobacco and cannabis smoke are not equally carcinogenic.

Key risks

Finally, there is evidence to support that early onset of use and the frequency of use are key risk factors, and associated with the most adverse outcomes, including substance misuse. We believe a preventative approach is appropriate for youth, however, a preventative approach should not be mutually exclusive from offering youth additional tools such as harm reduction education and resources and critical to the protection of all youth.

Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth

Created for educators, as well as parents, this resource aims to support adults in having informed and non-judgmental conversations with young people about cannabis.

Update from the 61st Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Update from the 61st Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Written by Ailish Brennan, chapter founder/leader of University College Dublin SSDP

While the inherently frustrating nature of the United Nations and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs has been particularly prevalent throughout my time in Vienna, the inspirational nature of the civil society groups and young people present this week has shone throughout.


The work by NGOs and other individual activists has kept me sane and motivated throughout all of these processes.

I had the pleasure of writing this blog post the same day some of the main youth-led NGO groups held their side events. Our own SSDP side-event entitled Youth, Drugs and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals allowed young people to lead the discussion for once instead of merely having our presence tokenized. The side event discussed why young people need to be meaningfully included in conversations around their health and well-being, specifically in the case of achieving the 2030 SDGs. Panelists Alex Betsos and Nazlee Maghsoudi presented the peer-led cannabis education model being developed by CSSDP, while Penny Hill of SSDP Australia discussed how youth inclusion in drug education makes it more likely several of the SDGs can be met on time. The very personal nature with which Orsi Fehér, chapter leader of SSDP Österreich, spoke was refreshing as she discussed her personal experience using drugs. In a space like the UN, hearing someone “come out” as a drug user can raise quite a few eyebrows. The discussion, co-sponsored by the Government of Canada, enabled civil society groups to speak from a position of genuine experience and discuss the importance of a movement towards a harm reduction model. Stressing the importance of a peer-based education model over the police-delivery model of the DARE program puts value in the voices of young people.

The event by YODA and YouthRISE directly after our event, titled Law Enforcement and Youth, brought a diverse panel of people again sharing their own experiences, from getting arrested as a young drug user in different parts of the world, to the other side of the handcuffs and having to deal with the arrest of your own brother as chief of police. A critical analysis of policies from Portugal to Australia showed that the problem of ineffectively dealing with drug use is present across the globe. Regardless of how the policies are labeled, the prohibitionist nature present in even the Portuguese “decriminalization” model invariably leads to unnecessary suffering.

Youth Voices

The need for the voices of young people has been brought into stark focus this week as we have been constantly reminded of the importance of “protecting youth” from the “scourge of drugs”, without input from people who use these drugs. The UNCND Youth Forum is an event which takes place coinciding with the main Convention and invites young people from member states to join the discussion and compile a statement to be made at the Plenary Sessions. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to take part in the processes of the UN but it is one which anti-prohibitionist voices have been consistently excluded. Many of the young people I’ve spoken to from NGOs and Civil Society groups have recounted their stories of being denied entry to the discussion based on their views on decriminalization. The token use of youth voices to strengthen the argument against legalization should be condemned and has proven to be another motivating factor for many of the people we talk to in confronting the groups and delegations pushing for a “Drug-Free World.”

They Talk, We Die

A discussion on the frustrating nature of some of the processes at CND by our board member and International Liaison, Alex Betsos.

Back in 2017 the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs held a protest of Jane Philpott when she spoke at the Harm Reduction International Conference in Montreal. Canadian activists held up signs that said: “They Talk We Die”. The protest was to note that while Canada has made progress and done some good work in responding to the opioid crisis, any attempt by the government to pat themselves on the back was not only premature but disingenuous. While I appreciated the response from other drug policy reformers that the Canadian government was rather progressive in contrast to other countries, the sharp distinction between Canada and some other countries at the UN puts that discussion into better perspective. The Canadian Government has been pushing for a fairly progressive resolution on stigma*. Some civil society members I have met here have called the resolution on stigma, which notes that stigma can be a barrier for people who use drugs to access services, as a bold resolution*.

What is unfathomable is that while the Canadian government’s resolution on stigma has been stuck in private sessions (known as “informals”), with a lot of arguments from member states, it took less than an hour to schedule several fentanyl analogues, synthetic cannabinoids, and 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA) with nothing more than a few words from the World Health Organization. For a group of member states that have fought tooth and nail over the most minute details throughout the CND, not a single member state made comments about making any of these drugs illegal on an international level.

What impact will scheduling fentanyl analogues have on access to fentanyl when fentanyl has been internationally scheduled since the 1990s? From talking to a few people in Canada and also in the Netherlands (both of which have 4-FA scheduled), there is still interest from some people who use drugs in accessing 4-FA. To date, there have been no direct overdoses from 4-FA. Since 4-FA has been scheduled, other New Psychoactive Substances have come onto the market, including 4-fluoromethamphetamine, 2-Fluoramphetamine, and 3-fluoroamphetamine to name a few.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs reflects the reality that all people who use drugs know to be true. For five days, they talk: they talk to people who use drugs, about them, rarely with them, and while they do, our friends and love one’s continue to die.

Reprinted with permission from Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Day 1 of CND 2018

Day 1 of CND 2018

Before UNGASS 2016, some organizations and people involved in drug policy believed that the UNGASS document may change the game when it came to international drug policy. If those dreams were dampened somewhat, a fresh coat of water was necessary for CND 2018. Many of the opening I watched contained language such as “the scourge of drugs,” “the world drug problem” and “protecting the youth” (without noting any youth in the discussion). Yet, there were glimmers of hope. Before CND started we were told that there were two main camps at CND, those who support the “drug free world” document of 2009, and those that supported the more progressive UNGASS document. The European Union came out in strong support of the UNGASS 2016 document, and also noted their continued support for ending the death penalty.

“We Can Live With That”

A side event with a name like: “Responding to new methods of synthetic drug trafficking,” clearly provides no angle for drug reform, yet there were some noteworthy points that came out of it. For example, drug sniffing dogs can now find fentanyl packages in the mail. Yet, even with those drug sniffing dogs, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues still manage to get into both the United States and Canada. Other discussions included more international cooperation in advancing the data collection, and cooperation in sharing tactics that people who sell drugs use around the world. The question that follows is, if we cannot stop these drugs that are causing so many deaths, to what degree does limiting a few packages of fentanyl, when 2 or 3 packages of fentanyl out of 10 is still a large quantity. Limiting the supply only encourages drug manufacturers to use stronger synthetic opioids; while other packages of drugs that are larger in size being more likely to be caught and making those drug supplies more dangerous for the consumer as well.

During a discussion on the resolution: “Strengthening efforts to prevent drug use in educational settings,” several delegates described their ability to accept certain amendments to paragraphs with the phrase “we can live with that.” While there are people dying because of the failed war on drugs, when youth are largely not consulted in discussions about them and their educational settings, the phrase “we can live with that” carries an underlying acceptability of things that people around the world may be dying from. The discussion itself was rather slow; there was a distinct gap between countries that focused heavily on the sustainable development goals and human rights and other countries. Who can live with the decisions made at the UN. The resolution focuses on helping youth stay away from drugs, a position most drug reformers would agree with.

Canada’s plenary statement was fairly progressive. They reaffirmed their commitment to legalizing cannabis, as well as explicitly noting harm reduction as an important part of Canada’s drug strategy. What was more disappointing is their commitment to add more drugs to the international Scheduling system. While fentanyl analogues, synthetic cannabinoids and 4-FA are all scheduled in Canada under our analogue act, international restrictions could cause more problems for people who use drugs than they would solve. If anything, Canada’s own system, which relies on scheduling drugs by their pharmacological similarity, proves the failure of these systems. Fentanyl and all of its analogues have been scheduled in Canada since 1996, yet it has been the epicenter of the fentanyl crisis in North America.

Side-event: Saving lives by ending the drug war

Here is a discussion of another side panel by our colleague Sara Velimirovic – Students for Sensible Drug Policy

“We are tired of counting the dead.”

This is one of the conclusions of MC, an activist from the Philippines, in addressing the member states delegates and civil society at the side-event of the CND “Saving lives by ending the drug war,” organized by the Government of the Czech Republic, the Transform Drug Policy Foundation and the International Drug Policy Consortium.

She informed the room that since July to September 2017 police has murdered around 2,000 people in Duterte’s drug war campaign. Even more worrying is the fact of over 16,000 murders currently under investigation that, combined with other cases, amount to more than 20,000 extra-judicial killings to this date in the Philippines. She pointed out several cases of lawyers having been murdered for participating in drug court cases, which leads to a situation where lawyers are ‘thinking twice’ before getting involved in future cases.

Jidrih Voboril, progressive national drug coordinator of the Czech Republic, took the floor to offer information on his country’s policy of liberalization – resulting in prisons that are in fact not crowded which stands out compared to the region -, and harm reduction -resulting in a drop in Hepatitis C cases from 70% to 15% among injecting users. Further, Voboril pointed out all countries of the EU, as well as candidate countries where policy tends to spillover, are moving towards decriminalization in operational sense – if not in legislation.

Ann Fordham declared decriminalization as an important and feasible next first step for Member States, defined as removing criminal (including criminal liability, criminal records and prison time), as well as administrative punishment (including a fine) for using drugs. To date some 27 countries have already instituted some form of decriminalization. She pointed out research shows the deterrent effect has failed to produce results intended by the UN conventions, as we are now aware drug use is independent from drug policy of a given country, but the harm bore by drug users is not.

Brun Gonzales spoke as a drug user about how drugs – that we as a global community have relatively recently banned – have enjoyed so important a role in our societies that ancestors have carved them in stone to relate this wisdom and technologies. This idea of traditional uses of these substances, he points out, has been conceptually removed from what we today call international drug policy. He concluded that the “best way to honour the dead of the drug war is to end it.”

In responding to a question from Olga about how to talk to countries that almost completely unreceptive to changing the policy of a drug-free world, J. Voboril, a longtime diplomat, pointed out that involvement of civil society is very important and can make a difference, that media is a very important way to provide names and faces to the victims of the drug war and for the public to hear their voices, and lastly, policy evidence should be consistently used by advocates who argue for reform.

Alex Betsos

Alex Betsos

International Liaison

Alex Betsos is a research masters social sciences student at the University of Amsterdam. Alex Betsos has a joint honours degree in sociology and anthropology from Simon Fraser University. His research interests relate to the creation, contestation and dissemination of drug knowledge by experts and by people who use drugs.

Learn more about Alex.


Vienna Youth Summit: On the Ground

Vienna Youth Summit: On the Ground

Every year in Vienna, 53 member states attend the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Government bodies, and civil societies flock to the historical city; it’s notably a time where few serious progressive reforms are made. Other than this past year in 2017, CSSDP has sent students involved on the national board to CND since 2014.

This, however, is a special year. For the first time the Canadian delegation is actively supporting civil society at CND. Over the past months, we, the Canadian delegation has helped to co-sponsor an event with CSSDP, SSDP and SSDP Australia on March 14th. Over the next several days we will be writing blog posts covering CND to help Canadian students understand the process of the UN, its impacts on international law, and what exactly happens every year over these five days. While CND actually starts Monday, March 12, students who interested in drug policy had other events planned for the preceding weekend.

Vienna Youth Summit: Sensible Drug Strategies

This year SSDP’s chapter in Austria held its first (and hopefully annual) event titled: “Vienna Youth Summit: Sensible Drug Strategies.” The workshop was meant to cover various aspects of CND for those who could attend and those who couldn’t. The one-day workshop covered various topics, including youth peer education, information about drug laws in Europe and internationally, the economics of the war on drugs, as well as a panel on youth harm reduction, co-hosted by yours truly, and Ailish Brennan from SSDP Ireland. Throughout the day we had a fairly open discussion, explaining the various drug laws, discussing harm reduction, and getting to know the various youth activists, their projects interests and goals.

Understanding international drug treaties

To understand the importance of CND, it is important to understand what helped to create our current international drug regime. There are three major treaties that have helped to establish our current international drug policy, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Jake Agliata from SSDP noted that the first convention, while in part was intended to consolidate previous drug legislation at the international level, was also intended by the United States to be an international form of control. Pre-1961 some UN member states did not have drugs such as opioids regulated. Canada, however, has long been an adherent to various drug laws, as our own federal laws for opium and cocaine have actually existed since 1908. Interestingly, Agliata and his co-presenter Sara Velimirovic that few countries wish to break consensus on the drug treaties, as they are one of the few documents that have strong support from various member states.

The second panel dug deeper into European politics, specifically in relation to Syrbia, and the farcical interplay between international drug governing bodies and local countries. Irena Molnar, explained to us how countries that wish to join the EU will sometimes create governing bodies that actually have limited capabilities in data collection and impact for people who use drugs. What was interesting was how the particularities of the EU bodies that govern drug-related issues became clearer, and the areas in which Canada is actually lagging behind. While Molnar noted that though the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has an ‘early-warning system’ in place, the ‘early warning system’ is not particularly early; it can take up to a month for a novel psychoactive substance (research chemical, or NPS) to actually be discussed. In contrast, as far as I am aware, Canada has no such system in place, and our primary method of obtaining data about new drugs on the market is from the police, which may or may not be representative of the actual drug market in Canada.

On the ground and online

There is something fantastic about getting to meet youth activists. Their engagement and passion with ending the war on drugs is always like the first cup of coffee in the morning; that little jolt that pulls one out of their dogmatic slumber. This is not the last event for SSDP’s Vienna Chapter. Tomorrow, they aim to have a rally, with DJs and a drug talk, just another way of showing how students can be involved in so many different projects on the ground-level.

Once CND starts, I will be on the ground at the UN every day. As this is not accessible for all Canadian youth (or Canadians more broadly, as there are a lot of hoops to jump through to even be allowed in), I will be live-tweeting every day at the conference and posting blog articles every second day.

If anyone has specific panels that they would like me to attend you can either contact me by email (alexb@cssdp.org) or on twitter @AlexInNederland.

Alex Betsos

Alex Betsos

International Liaison

Alex Betsos is a research masters social sciences student at the University of Amsterdam. Alex Betsos has a joint honours degree in sociology and anthropology from Simon Fraser University. His research interests relate to the creation, contestation and dissemination of drug knowledge by experts and by people who use drugs.

Learn more about Alex.


Re: B.C gives up on its addicts and decides to just keep them on drugs

Re: B.C gives up on its addicts and decides to just keep them on drugs

The recent op-ed by Jeremy Devine is a reminder of how much work still needs to be done within the medical community to advance the principles of public health and understandings of patient-centered care. BC is not “giving up on its addicts”; it is taking steps to address the immediate harms of drug use for individuals who may not be ready, able, or willing to access treatment. This approach respects the rights of people who use drugs to seek the treatment that will work best for them when they are ready, and enables individuals most affected by the opioid crisis to be included in policy decision process that impact them.  

Calling addiction an “individual pathology” ignores the complex interplay of structural, social, and physical environments that shape drug-related health outcomes. Devine’s recommendation that all funds be re-routed towards “a blitz” of Anchor Recovery programs demonstrates just how little research he has undertaken to understand the relative effectiveness of harm reduction and abstinence-based treatment models on a population level, and reveals a probable lack of experience working with communities most affected by the opioid crisis. There is no magic bullet to the opioid crisis; while Anchor Recovery-type programs may work for some, they certainly won’t work for many, and there is no reason these programs can’t exist alongside harm reduction and other treatment approaches.

People who use drugs are not just those who live on the streets or in prison — they are also our friends, neighbours, and family members. Their valuable knowledge about programs and policies that affect them should serve as a reminder to step out from the Ivory Tower.

Jenna Valleriani

Jenna Valleriani


A doctoral candidate in Sociology and the Collaborative Addiction Studies at the University of Toronto, Jenna was on the CSSDP board of directors from November 2013, acted as Conference Chair for CSSDP's 2015 conference, was CSSDP representative on the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition steering committee, and volunteers with NORML Canada. Find out more.

Stephanie Lake

Stephanie Lake


Stephanie is a doctoral student in population and public health at the University of British Columbia, where she is currently undertaking research to better understand the links between cannabis, opioids, and drug-related morbidity.

Upcoming Cannabis Education Roundtables

Upcoming Cannabis Education Roundtables

CSSDP is looking for chapters and volunteers to host a 2 hour Youth Roundtable to workshop our Cannabis Education Toolkit in December and early January.


Roundtable Facilitation Training

CSSDP is working with the Youth Wellness Network to develop:

  1. a facilitation guide which will cover the entire cannabis education roundtable for chapters to recreate on their own campus
  2. a training session for our facilitators on how to effectively lead the discussion.

The training will be a 1.5 hour session which will be video recorded for  chapters outside of Toronto.

Since this initiative is funded by an unrestricted grant from Canopy Growth, CSSDP is offering chapters a stipend to organize and carry out these feedback roundtables.


Chapter Roundtable Funding

Each chosen chapter will receive up to $500 for their event (with $100 allocated to each lead facilitator (up to two), and up to $300 for food and rentals). The sessions will be about 2 hours, will be audio recorded, and can be anywhere from 5 to 15 people. The roundtable should include only young people – but this can be chapter members and/or local youth and students.

The facilitation stipends for our leaders will cover:

  1. Participation in the training session
  2. Roundtable event coordination
  3. Facilitation at the event
  4. A 500 word summary of main themes and feedback received from the event

While we will analyze the recordings in full, we’d also like to hear feedback on the document directly from our members, and we will take this feedback and integrate it into the final document.


Getting Involved

For more information on the training sessions or to express interest in hosting a roundtable, do not hesitate to reach out to our personnel liaison Nick at ncristia@yorku.ca, or the coordinator of this initiative, Jenna Valleriani, directly at j.valleriani@gmail.com.

Jenna Valleriani

Jenna Valleriani


A doctoral candidate in Sociology and the Collaborative Addiction Studies at the University of Toronto, Jenna was on the CSSDP board of directors from November 2013, acted as Conference Chair for CSSDP's 2015 conference, was CSSDP representative on the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition steering committee, and volunteers with NORML Canada. Find out more.