The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse kicked off a four-city tour today in Halifax to dispel myths about marijuana and warn about the effects of the drug on young people.
Philip Tibbo, a professor at Dalhousie University’s Department of Psychiatry, says there are many misconceptions among youth about cannabis, including that marijuana is natural and cannot be harmful.
Tibbo, one of three expert panellists, says the aim of the tour is to debunk these myths and start a conversation about protecting young people as the federal government ponders how to carry out a promise to legalize marijuana.
Tibbo, who contributed to a report released in June about cannabis use in adolescence, says research indicates the risks are greater for adolescents who use marijuana because their brains are still in development.
The report from the federally-funded agency says regular cannabis use initiated early in life can result in behavioural and cognitive impairments, such as poor academic performance and deficits in attention, information processing and memory.
Future panel discussions are scheduled for Feb. 3 in Toronto, Feb. 12 in Vancouver, and Feb. 22 in Ottawa.