Canopy Growth Corporation announced the next phase in its partnership with Parent Action on Drugs (“PAD”) and Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (“CSSDP”) which will see PAD launch two new digital tools to help youth along with their parents, adult caregivers, and influencers, on how to make responsible decisions about cannabis use.
“Weed Like to Know” Chatbot
PAD employed the technical expertise of Massively, a leader in artificial intelligence, to develop a fun and interactive chatbot 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. Additionally, the chatbot will be deployed directly inside display ads on targeted websites.
What’s With Weed SMS Tool:
PAD collaborated with Evolution Health Systems, a trailblazer in creating digital health tools, to build a youth-focused cannabis education and problematic use prevention text message program aimed at teens and young adults (15-21 years).
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
- Alternative approaches to coping with life 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 their 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 personal risk profile report.
“PAD is incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to advance its resource development forward by providing educational information on cannabis through unique digital tools,” said Joanne Brown, Executive Director of Parent Action on Drugs. “PAD’s mandate is to provide youth, parents, and youth influencers with evidence-based information to support youth in making informed decisions. Through the partnership with Canopy Growth and CSSDP, we are excited to launch these innovative tools that will put current information in the hands of parents and youth through their smartphones.”
“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,” said Dr. Jenna Valleriani, Strategic Advisor for Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Today’s announcement follows the recent publication by CSSDP of a comprehensive cannabis education toolkit aimed at youth as part of the first phase of the partnership with Canopy Growth, CSSDP and PAD. The Sensible Cannabis Education: A Toolkit for Educating Youth focuses on realistic and evidence-based approaches to cannabis education for young Canadians. Since its launch, it has been viewed online over 1,000 times, with over 500 hard copies in English and French being distributed to parents, educators, other stakeholders and youth.
Canopy Growth continues to focus on engaging in meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) initiatives. Its CSR strategy is based on listening to communities and stakeholders and supporting areas where awareness and education can make a difference. Just some of the initiatives Canopy Growth has undertaken include:
- A $2.5 million donation to the University of British Columbia to establish the Canopy Growth Professorship of Cannabis Science, held by Dr. M-J Milloy, who is examining the potential utility of cannabis in addressing the opioid crisis.
- A three-way partnership with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada (MADD Canada) to increase awareness and education surrounding the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis.
- A two-year partnership with the Canadian AIDS Society, which has been working on issues related to medical cannabis access since 2004, to fund the development of Canadian guidelines on the use of medical cannabis for the management of chronic pain and associated symptoms.