The negative stigma surrounding cannabis use is one of the major hurdles facing the legal industry to keep expanding worldwide. While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting medical marijuana as an effective treatment for various conditions, some clinical studies show negative long-term effects of cannabis use—especially among youth.
Therefore, curbing cannabis abuse among young people is important for the legal industry if it wants to see legalization continue to progress around the world. Like with alcohol, education and responsible use could help avoid many of the unwanted side effects of the drug.
Cannabis industry giant Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC)(TSX:WEED) is partnering with drug awareness groups to create digital tools aimed to improve education and help youth, parents and teachers open up and talk about cannabis use.
Digital tools to educate youth, parents on cannabis abuse
The Smith Falls, Ontario cannabis firm is teaming up with Parent Action on Drugs (PAD) and Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) to create an educational chatbot and text-messaging system to capture young people’s attention on the issue.
One of the tools PAD helped deploy is the “Weed Like to Know” chatbot, which effectively helps parents have meaningful discussions with their children regarding cannabis. Through the use of various games and quizzes, it allows kids to learn about the risks involved with early cannabis use in the hopes of preventing it.
For parents who are unfamiliar with the effects of cannabis, the chatbot is designed to form meaningful and informative discussions with their children. And by opening up a dialogue that doesn’t only preach abstaining from cannabis use, it can help educate kids on the risks associated with the drug to better equip them to make better choices.
Another tool being launched is called What’s With Weed, which is an text messaging service that targets teens and young adults. The tool will send users who subscribe to the service SMS messages daily for 54 days. It will cover many different topics relating to cannabis, including its effects, quitting techniques, and alternatives for dealing with stress.
The awareness groups and Canopy Growth aim for both tools to be valuable ways for young people to gain information on cannabis and empower them to make the better decisions. For Canopy Growth, it is looking to further demonstrate its commitment to being social responsible.
Neither Canopy Growth nor either drug awareness group disclosed the amount of funding the Ontario cannabis company donated to support the digital education campaigns.
A win-win for everyone
As lucrative as the industry is in terms of size and growth, companies are not overlooking how early cannabis abuse can lead to some serious side effects. And if those risks can be mitigated through education, it may help ease some of the barriers that legalization faces today.
Canopy Growth said education aimed at preventing youth cannabis abuse will be apart of its long-term strategy moving forward. And as an industry leader, it could help set the precedent for a more responsible approach to the cannabis business and allow long-term growth in the space.
– Hilary Black, Chief Advocacy Officer of Canopy Growth