The Northwestern Health Unit has released a report on “Cannabis in the Community.”
The report was completed in preparation for the legalization of cannabis in Ontario (on Oct. 17), gathering information about public perceptions to inform future programs.
It summarizes the results of an online discussion panel and online survey that had almost 600 responses.
Steph Charles, a health promoter with the health unit, described some of the findings from the online panel.
“There was very engaged discussion about cannabis legalization and all of the implications-around protection from smoke indoors, the location of production facilities, marketing, and public education,” she noted.
The online survey asked about health harms and benefits, community issues and assets, and concerns regarding cannabis use.
The survey had 578 responses from members of the public and community partners.
From a list of possible issues related to cannabis use, the public indicated they were most concerned with impaired driving, under-age use, advertising, and second-hand smoke.
“The health unit will use the information in the report to prepare public education, and work with schools and municipalities to minimize any potential harms from cannabis use,” said Northwestern Health Unit manager Shannon Robinson.
For those who choose to consume cannabis, the health unit is promoting the “Lower Risk Cannabis Usage Guidelines,” encouraging moderation and harm reduction practices.
For more resources on cannabis use and to view the full report, visit www.nwhu.on.ca