Majority of Canadian parents concerned about pot legalization

Most agree not enough information is available to youth about the risks

Majority of Canadian parents concerned about pot legalization

Legalization of marijuana has been celebrated in many circles and lauded as a sensible and progressive move by others. But according to a new survey, there is one group who aren’t so happy: Canadian parents.

Commissioned by licensed medical marijuana producer Organigram Inc., the survey discovered that 60% of Canadian parents are concerned about cannabis legalization and 54% feel there is currently not enough information available to youth about the risks associated with cannabis use. Only 30% of parents feel "very prepared" to educate their children about cannabis.

"As we move toward the legalization of cannabis, it's important that we take pulse checks along the way," said Ray Gracewood, Chief Commercial Officer, Organigram. "By asking parents how they feel, we get a real-time sense of not only what's keeping Canadian parents up at night, but the opportunities we have, as a company and as an industry, and in collaboration with healthcare professionals and educators, to address their concerns. If the safety of youth is a priority of legalization, this discussion is critical."

The survey also revealed that 46% of parents with children aged four and up have already discussed cannabis legalization with their children, however only 26% of that group have discussed the topic in detail. 9% do not plan on discussing legalization with their children.

According to the survey, 35% of parents feel "very confident" they could recognize signs of cannabis use in their child, while 67% are most trusting of physicians or other healthcare professionals when it comes to information to help parents educate children about cannabis and its appropriate use.

When questioned about youth education, 87% of parents said education on why it’s important to not drive under the influence of cannabis is a top priority. Other top priorities include the negative effects of cannabis use on their bodies (75%), how to turn down offers to use cannabis (75%), and risks of use with other substances (74%).

"Legalization is coming and this research highlights the fact that Canadian parents have concerns," said Dr. Michael Verbora, Chief Medical Officer of Aleafia Total Health. "Ask yourself: what are your concerns? I would encourage parents to seek information on the risks and realities from a credible source, like a physician or health authority, and start having those conversations now. Knowledge is power and will be key to proactive, open dialogue in Canadian homes. Frank discussion and well-informed families will help protect youth in this new era of cannabis legalization."