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Cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed) comes from the plant,Cannabis sativa. Once grown, the leaves and flowers can be dried for use or made into oils, waxes, and other products for consumption. Cannabis can be smoked in a joint, pipe or bong, or vaporized. It can also be eaten, brewed as a tea, or made into skin lotions.
Although it is now legal, cannabis use can still be harmful, especially for youth since their bodies and brains are still growing. This is the period of their lives when they may think about trying cannabis and may not be fully aware of its consequences. Children may also have many questions, and it is important that they have clear, accurate information to help them make healthy choices.
The resources below will help answer some of those questions and guide discussions about cannabis use.
Parents have the biggest influence on their children's lives. How parents talk about drug use can influence a child's decisions about using drugs. If parents think it's OK to use drugs and don't caution their children, their children might come to believe that drug use at any age is acceptable.
Talking with your child or teen is important so they can make good decisions about drugs.
Talking with your child or teen will help them understand your values and opinions on drug use.
You can help your children avoid early cannabis use by being a good role model. Examples include:
From 0 to 8 years of age
Children learn by watching, listening, asking questions and copying behaviour. Small children may not ask questions about cannabis, but it is an important time for parents to help them develop healthy behaviours.
Never forget that cannabis can hurt a child's growing body and brain.
From 8 to 12 years of age (pre-teens)
At this time, children may start to show more curiosity about cannabis. Pre-teens may get messages about cannabis from their friends and the internet. You cannot control every message that your pre-teen gets, but you can include your own messages for them to hear and from which to learn. Educate yourself so that you can share accurate information with your children.
From 13 to 19 years of age (teens)
Teenagers might think that cannabis is an acceptable and safe way to celebrate or party. Talk with your teen about the real-life, possible consequences of cannabis use, including:
You can also try these tips:
Questions to help kick-start a conversation about cannabis with your teen:
More resources and information:
As a teacher, you may face many questions about legal cannabis use. Here are some publications and sites to help inform that discussion.
Help your students make healthy choices and understand the consequences of cannabis use by accessing the following resources to inform planning.
Please visit the Saskatchewan curriculum website to select recommended learning resources to support student inquiry and teacher professional development about drug education. Documents have been developed that highlight curricular opportunities to address substance misuse in various subject areas and grades. Suggested curriculum outcomes are identified for English, French Immersion and Fransaskois curricula and, if applicable, supporting indicators are noted. The documents are located in Resources - "Other Useful Materials Only" section within each grade level or subject area on the Saskatchewan curriculum website.
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