Discussing Cannabis with Youth: A Parent Resource Library

Recreational cannabis legalization presents a number of significant opportunities in Canada. Along with economic opportunity, scientific opportunity and opportunity for lasting social and cultural change, as a company, we believe the greatest opportunity presented by legalization is the protection of youth and young adults.

Approaching the legalization of adult recreational cannabis, we wondered: what are Canadian parents’ perceptions of cannabis and what concerns might they have? To find out, we surveyed over 1,000 parents from coast-to-coast. The goal? To stimulate conversation in Canadian households on harm reduction, and to help guide parents who may feel apprehensive or underprepared toward educational resources that they may find helpful.

In our research, we revealed a few key findings:

  • The majority of Canadian parents (60 per cent) *are* concerned about legalization.
  • More than half of parents (54 per cent) feel there is currently not enough information available to youth about the risks associated with cannabis use.
  • Canadian parents feel it is important to have information on topics relating to: cannabis use leading to the use of “harder” drugs (84 per cent); the comparative effects of different forms of cannabis (e.g. edibles compared to smoking cannabis) (88 per cent); and the likelihood of cannabis use leading to tobacco use (74 per cent).
  • Only one-third of all parents (35 per cent) feel ‘very confident’ they could recognize the signs of cannabis use in their child.
  • Only three in ten parents feel ‘very prepared’ to educate their children on cannabis.
  • Nearly half of parents (46 per cent) with children aged four and up have already discussed cannabis legalization with their children. One in ten parents do not plan on discussing legalization with their children at all.

Do you feel prepared to discuss cannabis with your children? Find below a list of educational resources that may help answer questions about: potential health risks; initiating/navigating conversations about cannabis; cannabis laws and harm reduction.

Parent resources:

Cannabis Talk Kit: Know How to Talk With Your Teen (Drug Free Kids Canada)

Cannabis in Canada (Government of Canada)

Marijuana and Youth (Canadian Centre of Substance Use and Addiction)

Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Cannabis for Medical Purposes (Health Canada)

In Control NB (Government of New Brunswick)

Legalizing and Strictly Regulating Cannabis: Youth and Adults (Government of Canada)

About the Survey:

Environics Research conducted an online survey of 1,005 Canadian parents with children under the age of 18 who live in their home at least part of the time. Quotas were in place to ensure representation by province, gender and by age of child. The survey was in field from June 26 to July 9, 2018. To access full survey results, click HERE.