As cannabis stores become the norm across the country, including in Indigenous communities, there has been much celebration, economic opportunity, and of course cannabis use. But do we really have a grasp on the way cannabis affects our mental health? The Cannabis and Psychosis project aims to set the record straight through the development of the Cannabis and Mental Health Course aimed at keeping young people informed.

The Cannabis & Mental Health Course is currently in development, and voices are needed to ensure that the course will benefit everyone who takes it. As our Indigenous populations are no strangers to substance use and mental health, we must take a proactive approach to ensure that the information is presented in a way that empowers the choices of our Indigenous young people should they choose to use cannabis or not.

The course itself presents a balanced view of cannabis, both its benefits and potential negative effects. There are discussions about the link with psychosis, pain management, anxiety, depression, etc., all very important topics for Indigenous communities considering the mental health and addiction crisis that many of our communities face.

This is an important opportunity for Indigenous people to be at the table as cannabis use becomes increasingly normalized and impacts our most important people, young people. The Cannabis and Psychosis project has been very mindful of its engagement with Indigenous people and relies on guidance from Youth Action Committee members of Indigenous descent.

The Cannabis and Psychosis team met with Grand Council Treaty #3 Drug Task Force on May 11, 2021. The meeting offered in-depth insights and questions that our team had not considered. Therefore, it is very important to have Indigenous voices heard, particularly those of young people.

If your community would like to know more you can get in touch with me, Will Landon, Our projects Indigenous Outreach Coordinator. The Cannabis and Psychosis team would love to present to communities, form partnerships, and offer opportunities to guide the development of the course.

Will Landon
Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for Cannabis and Psychosis

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