TORONTO, ON. November 17 2020: Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (“CSSDP”) is proud to announce the launch of a two-year youth-led Canadian cannabis education program. The grant of $ 428,535 from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program (“SUAP”) will allow CSSDP to implement a series of programs and initiatives over a two-year period. This programming will be designed to promote sensible, age-appropriate, and evidence-informed conversations with Canadian youth aged 17-25 about cannabis.
This collaborative project will build off the success of the 2018 Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth (“Toolkit”) by hosting educational workshops, launching digital education tools, and making the toolkit as accessible as possible to all Canadians by increasing dissemination and translating it into multiple languages. To date, the Toolkit has been downloaded over 2,000 times with over 1,000 hard copies in English and French distributed to parents, educators, community stakeholders, and youth.
“We are grateful to have this exceptional opportunity to advance cannabis education for young people, with educational initiatives that are for youth and by youth,” said Kira London-Nadeau, Chair of CSSDP. “This national project builds on our previous efforts to empower young people and create opportunities for evidence-based discussions, which is still critically needed for young people across the country.”
The Canadian Cannabis Survey (2019) reports that cannabis use among young people 16 to 24 years old is over twice the rate of those 25 and over. Given that we are two years into legalization, and a variety of public health issues remain at the forefront, it is a pivotal time to support evidence-informed resources, initiatives and programming on cannabis. This national project will focus on the delivery of cannabis education in line with growing research on drug education and ensure that Canadian youth and young adults, and the people who support them, have access to a variety of tools and information to make responsible decisions about their health. Prohibition did not prevent young people from using cannabis. We are now two years into legalization, and our intent is to ensure that Canadian youth are equipped with the right tools to make responsible decisions about their health.
CSSDP believes the most effective youth cannabis education prioritizes and centralizes young people’s voices. Targeting youth ages 17-25, this project will:
- Increase reach and distribution of CSSDP’s Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit in Canada, both online and in print, as well as in additional languages, in addition to English and French, to reach communities often left out of drug education efforts;
- Organize and facilitate a national dialogue which focuses on online workshops across Canada, including centering the role of peer leaders (aged 17-25) to assist with the facilitation of workshops and ensure youth perspectives and approaches are uplifted throughout the process; and
- Extend and build on knowledge transfer activities related to the Toolkit, including brochures, social media materials, harm reduction materials and an accessible, dedicated website resource for youth, families, and educators.
If you would like to support CSSDP, please visit our Patreon.
About Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP)
Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a grassroots national network of youth and students who are concerned about the negative impact our drug policies have on individuals and communities. CSSDP considers problematic drug use in society primarily a health and human rights issue rather than a criminal justice issue, and advocates for appropriate, evidence-based responses to reduce and prevent harm from drug use. CSSDP currently runs 20 local youth-run chapters across Canada, in addition to a national Board of Directors, and is working to increase access and awareness of harm reduction, support evidence-based legislation, and promote drug policy reform on local, national and international levels. For more information, visit us at cssdp.org, follow us on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
About Substance Use and Addiction Program (SUAP)
Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program provides grants and contributions funding to other levels of government, community-led and not-for-profit organizations, as well as individuals (micro-grant funding only), to respond to drug and substance use issues in Canada. Funding supports a wide range of evidence-informed and innovative problematic substance use prevention, harm reduction and treatment initiatives across Canada at the community, regional and national levels. Initiatives target a range of psychoactive substances, including opioids, stimulants, cannabis, alcohol, nicotine and tobacco.