Federal government announces $36.4 million investment in cannabis education and awareness

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      Today, the federal government announced that it will spend close to $50 million on cannabis education, awareness, and surveillance over the next five years.

      Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Parliamentary Secretary Bill Blair made the announcement in Ottawa earlier this afternoon.

      A new investment of $36.4 million over the next five years will be devoted to a cannabis education and awareness campaign, in addition to the $9.6 million announced in the government's 2017 budget, bringing the total investment to $46 million.

      “Our government wants Canadians to have clear, factual information so that they understand how using cannabis could affect them," Blair said in a media release. "Our investment today is another step in informing Canadians, especially youth and young adults, about the real effects of cannabis."

      According to the release, the campaign will include "factual and evidence-based information on the health and safety risks of cannabis use and drug-impaired driving." It will be executed through social media, advertising, and interactive events geared to youth.

      “We are tackling the issue of cannabis use with long-term investments in our education and awareness efforts," Petitpas Taylor said.

      "We want to make sure all Canadians, particularly our young adults and youth, understand the health and safety risks of cannabis. These efforts also aim to equip parents and teachers with tools to have meaningful discussions with young Canadians about the risks of cannabis use.”

      This fall, Public Safety Canada will launch a campaign on the dangers of drug-impaired driving. A second phase of Health Canada's ongoing digital campaign targeting youth and young adults will begin in January.

      Health Canada and Drug Free Kids Canada have also created a Cannabis Talk Kit for parents to use when talking to their children about cannabis.

      Today's announcement also brought news that the government plans to host a symposium on cannabis public health education on November 10 for stakeholders and partners.