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Digital Education Tools for Youth Launched

Parent Action on Drugs (PAD) is launching two new digital cannabis education tools to help youth, along with their parents and influencers, make responsible decisions about cannabis use.

Weed Like to Know Chatbot

The chatbot is a fun and interactive tool designed to engage, educate and encourage conversation between parents and their kids about cannabis. This tool helps parents structure conversations with their pre-teens about cannabis to inform and prevent early use, associated with a number of negative short and long-term outcomes. By having an informed, open dialogue about cannabis, parents can protect their children while creating a culture of knowledge and resiliency.

Through activities like charades, quiz questions, and “What would you do?” scenarios, chatbot users learn age-appropriate evidence-based information about cannabis, its effects, the law, risks to youth during brain development, and reasons youth consume or not. Content related to harm reduction and safety for cannabis consumers is also covered.

Weed Like to Know can be accessed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, through the PAD website, or Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

What’s With Weed SMS Tool

The second tool is a text message program aimed at teens and young adults 15-21 years old.
People can subscribe through the new, What’s With Weed (WWW), comprehensive cannabis education website, whatswithweed.ca. Once they do, they will receive texts with proactive messages every day for 54 days. The text messages will focus on:

  • Factoids about weed and how it works in the brain and body
  • Cannabis laws
  • Tips for reducing risks and safer use
  • Questions to reflect upon one’s use and why someone would use
  • Alternative approaches to coping with stress
  • Support for cutting down/quitting

Subscribers can also select from a list of keywords to get additional, targeted educational and support messages. Although the tool is more relevant for youth who use cannabis, or those who may be concerned about someone’s use, anyone will be able to learn from this valuable information. The WWW site also includes an anonymous brief intervention questionnaire, Check Your Cannabis, and a personal risk profile report.

PAD is able to provide these tools due to its partnership with Canopy Growth and Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSSDP). “We’re thrilled to see CSSDP’s Sensible Cannabis Education Toolkit being used to inform the development of new educational tools in a rapidly changing and expanding policy landscape. Parents are often left out of cannabis education initiatives. Yet, they are on the frontlines of engaging youth in evidence-based cannabis conversations,” says Dr. Jenna Valleriani, Strategic Advisor for CSSDP.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Tomasso.