The RCMP held a cannabis information workshop for students at Vanier Collegiate. With students exposed to some knowledge about the drug since its legalization last year.
Ashton Bennett and Mylaine Gauvreau, two visitors from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s national youth service’s crime prevention unit in Ottawa, went to Vanier for the presentation, which included slides and a question and answer session at the end.
“The message is that we wanted to make sure the youth are aware of the legal consequences,” said Gauvreau. “For the RCMP, this is our main focus. Our lane is the legal focus. When we were doing initially some talk, a lot of the youth didn’t know the legal aspect of cannabis.”
When they started doing their presentation, they wanted to also bring forward some of the health aspects of marijuana and make sure the students had a well-rounded field of information.
And they’re setting straight some of the misconceptions about the new cannabis laws.
“Some things that they’re confused about is the difference between federal and provincial law,” said Bennett. “The federal law states what youth possession is and then the provincial and territorial law also state it. Some of them think the federal law is the only law that’s out there.”
Every province and territory has different laws and it’s important to make sure you know what the laws are before going there. Gauvreau said.
Gauvreau said they want to make sure the youths don’t become the victim or the offenders of crime.
“So they’re aware of the legal consequences of the laws that are currently standing right now,” Bennett said. “They’re more informed for a decision they make later in life.”
And because this age group is also becoming drivers for the first time, it’s important to make sure they also know the consequences of drug impaired driving are the same as the consequences of drinking and driving.
On the health aspect, they also brought out the fact that the human brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25, which is a bit of a surprise to the kids they’re talking to.
“I think one of the biggest myths is that cannabis isn’t addictive, and so that’s something we try to reiterate through the presentation, that it is,” Gauvreau said. “And if you’re brain is still developing, it still can affect you.”
The pair also went to Caronport High School Tuesday afternoon.