All Posts Tagged With: "Cannabis"
What students are talking about today (April 15th)
1. It’s almost April 20th, the annual day when marijuana smokers gather, often on campuses, to smoke pot, throw Frisbees and in some cases protest cannabis laws. One such protest, Fill the Hill, happens on Parliament Hill in Ottawa each year. Kyle Walton, a second-year student from Carleton University, told The Fulcrum student newspaper that marijuana is particularly important this year following the Conservative government’s omnibus budget bill, which toughened penalties for marijuana possession. Pot could become an election issue ahead of 2015. Justin Trudeau, who was elected leader of the Liberal Party on Sunday, favours decriminalization. The NDP’s Thomas Mulcair once said he believes legalization would be a mistake, “because the information that we have right now is that the marijuana that’s on the market is extremely potent and can actually cause mental illness.” He later clarified that he does not believe anyone should go to jail for possessing small amounts.
2. Speaking of marijuana, a student at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary told CBC News she plans to continue using marijuana during class despite the administration’s view that she’s committing academic misconduct. Lisa Kirkman has a medical marijuana license and uses a vapourizer once per hour, including during classes. She says she wants the school to provide a ventilated room.
Research shows links to mental illness, lung capacity
When sociologist and drug-policy expert Andy Hathaway surveyed one of his first-year classes at the University of Guelph last fall, 80 per cent of students reported experience with cannabis.
Hathaway cautions that it was only a small pilot study (around 100 responses), and it took place at Guelph, which is, let’s face it, “a bit granola.”
Still, that 80 per cent figure isn’t surprising.
When twelfth graders are asked if they’ve tried marijuana, roughly half say yes.
Provincial rates of lifetime usage now range from a low of 40 per cent of Albertan twelfth-graders to a high of 63 per cent of those in Nova Scotia, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. And that’s before university.
Cigarette smoking plummets
A survey administered to nearly 10,000 teens in Ontario shows big drops in the use of most drugs when compared to similar teens 12 years ago.
The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey found an especially encouraging drop in the number of students who smoke cigarettes. In 1999, 28 per cent of students in grades seven to 12 said they smoked in the past year and 22 per cent smoked at least one cigarette daily. In 2011, only nine per cent said they smoked in the past year and only four per cent said they smoked daily. The rates are higher in northern Ontario, where eight per cent smoked daily in 2011.
Startling findings in annual drug use report
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has released their annual report, which brings together surveys of drug use among teens from the various provinces. What’s most startling is the risky behaviours Grade 12 students are engaging in before driving. Depending on the province:
—up to 20 per cent report driving within an hour of having two or more drinks
—up to 38 per cent report being a passenger with a driver who was drinking
—up to 20 per cent report being a passenger with a driver who had “too much to drink”
—up to 21 per cent report driving within an hour of using cannabis
Clearly young people need to plan safer rides home.
There were also interesting, if less shocking, findings about teen drug and alcohol use in general. The study looked at students in grades seven, nine, 10 and 12 and found that the amount of teens who had drank alcohol at least once in their lifetimes ranged from 52 per cent of Albertan teens to 70 per cent of Newfoundland teens. Those figures climb as high as 90 per cent by twelfth grade.