Cannabis and Canadian Youth: Rolling the Joint or the Dice?
In 2018, Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use with each province determining the cut-off age for the purchase of cannabis products. Many studies suggest Canadian youth have some of the highest rates of cannabis consumption in the world. Given the societal acceptability of cannabis and early consumption during key developmental years of the adolescent and young adult brain, can there be consequences? This presentation describes patterns of cannabis consumption among Canadian youth, highlighting the interplay with education and mental health including psychosis. The ubiquitous availability and early exposure to cannabis against a backdrop of legalization demands innovative and engaging messaging to youth.
- Gain insight into cannabis use by youth in Canada (pre and post legalization)
- Observe the role of cannabis in an early psychosis intervention programme for youth and young adults.
- Appreciate the need for innovative cannabis literacy across different sectors
Dr. Oyedeji (Deji) Ayonrinde is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is also the Clinical Director of Community Psychiatry Programs at Providence Care and works in an Assertive Community Treatment Team. He trained at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK with an MSc in Research in Psychiatry ( University College London – UCL) an Executive MBA from Imperial College London and a Diploma in the History of Medicine. Dr. Ayonrinde plays an active role in cannabis education and the understanding of its impact on mental health across the lifespan. He has worked with the media, schools, teachers. students, parents, university faculties, clinicians and youth organizations on cannabis and mental health. He was invited to support Health Canada in the development of nationally disseminated cannabis educational and learning content material over multiple digital and social media platforms. He has also supported the Canadian Armed Forces and was invited to serve as a Parliamentary Veterans Committee Expert on PTSD and cannabis. Dr. Ayonrinde has been invited to contribute to cannabis literacy programs in Australia, Nigeria, USA and the UK. He serves as a Scientific Advisor on cannabis at the Maudsley Cannabis Clinic for patients with Psychosis (CCP) , UK and as Scientific Advisor on Cannabis to Schizophrenia Society of Canada https://cannabisandpsychosis.ca as well as https://youthrex.com/cannabis-and-youth-certificate/. He has received local, national & international awards related to cannabis education including the Kingston Health Sciences “Knowledge Award”, Partners in Research National Ambassador Award, Faculty of Health Sciences award for Cannabis knowledge initiatives and the Faculty of Health Sciences Education Award. Dr. Ayonrinde’s research has a special interest on mental health effects and risks of cannabis use in pregnancy, youth and young adults. He has developed cannabis games and assessment tools which have been incorporated by several clinical services.
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