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​“It’s legal, how bad can it be?” CMA launches national awareness campaign on cannabis, targeting youth

To coincide with the legalization of cannabis on October 17, the CMA launched a public health campaign on the health risks of cannabis use, targeting young Canadians.

The ads focus on facts about using cannabis and the potential negative side effects for young users – a group at particular risk given their brains are still undergoing rapid, extensive development. The ads also support the public health approach the CMA has been calling for.

To create a “peer-to peer” conversation, the CMA recruited three medical student members to be the faces and voices of the campaign – Yipeng Ge, Nikhita Singhal and Heather Whittaker – to speak from their experience as both young adults and physicians-in-training.

Along with increasing awareness of the risks, the campaign encourages young Canadians to make informed decisions about cannabis use and to speak to their doctor if they have questions.

https://youtu.be/fMsypYm9Kho

One of a series of ads the CMA has developed for youth on the health risks of cannabis use

The ads will run Oct. 15 to Jan. 6, 2019 and will be featured on youth-friendly platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Spotify.

This ad campaign is just one plank in the CMA’s extensive work on cannabis, and we’ll be looking to engage in other public health initiatives at the federal, provincial and territorial level.

The CMA, and many other health organizations across Canada, have been working on educational resources on the health risks of cannabis use, including the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines. Visit cma.ca/cannabis to view these resources for health care providers, public and youth.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.