Toronto, Ontario – Researchers at Humber College launched the "Weed Out Misinformation Campaign" to eliminate myths around cannabis and help educate both new and experienced cannabis consumers. The applied research project was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Fund grant that was awarded to Daniel Bear, Ph.D., as the principal investigator. The project was conducted in partnership with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Canadian Public Health Association.
Visit the Weed Out Misinformation Campaign at weedoutmisinformation.ca.
The Engaging and Educating Young-Adult Cannabis Consumers (EEYCC) project, led by Bear, professor in Humber’s Faculty of Social and Community Services, aims to engage and educate young cannabis consumers who are 18 to 30 years old. The campaign focuses on harm-reduction and myth-busting research, examines how young adult cannabis consumers are getting their cannabis information, and dispelling common myths rooted in decades of prohibitionist drug education.
The research team surveyed 1,600 Canadian cannabis consumers, and conducted focus groups with consumers, bud-tenders, and cannabis policy experts. The campaign’s materials were developed by youth, using data gathered from youth, and designed to reduce stigma.
One of the researcher’s early learnings was that stigma, and perceived stigma, turns cannabis consumers off from many public education efforts. This discovery demonstrated the need for a human-centred approach which brought the voices of cannabis consumers into their research throughout the entire process.
"From our initial research, we found that young people are feeling stigmatized, and they wanted access to reliable sources of information about cannabis," said Bear. "For too long, the focus has been on potential harm to dissuade use, but that approach hasn’t reduced consumption and hasn’t kept consumers safe. This new campaign dispels myths and provides young cannabis consumers with a safe space in which the discussion of it feels normalized.”
The EEYCC project launched in 2020 with funding from NSERC. Cannabis has been a growing industry in Canada since its legalization in 2018.
About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Humber College is focused on our students' future. As a global leader in polytechnic education, Humber students receive in-depth theoretical learning and hands-on experience with applied research and extensive industry connections. Humber provides career-focused education to more than 38,000 full-time and 19,000 part-time students and professional learners in-person at three main Toronto locations and online. A comprehensive range of credentials, including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates, prepare career-ready global citizens to move seamlessly from education to employment. More than 86 per cent of Humber graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies. Visit humber.ca.
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