An online poll which seeks to determine attitudes toward and the awareness around the use of soon-to-be legalized marijuana will inform upcoming public education campaigns put out by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.
WDG Public Health wants to determine what level of understanding and awareness people in the area have around the use of cannabis before it is legalized, said Chuck Ferguson, manager of corporate communications.
“We want to look to the community to find out what their attitudes and their behaviours are toward cannabis and what they are looking for in terms of more information, whether they are users or not,” said Ferguson.
“Do residents understand that there are some harms to cannabis, that there are some health perspectives they can take into account when cannabis becomes legal?” asked Ferguson rhetorically.
The information gathered will go toward public education for young people, parents and resources for teachers in the area, said Ferguson.
“There are going to be a lot of resources coming out from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, but what do residents in Orangeville, Shelbourne and the County of Wellington want to know. We want to make sure we provide them with that information,” he said.
In a news release, Nicola Mercer, WDG Public Health’s medical officer of health and CEO said the agency wants to know what the local attitudes are to cannabis use and to see where the information gaps exist to ensure it is used safely.
“Our role is to understand what is happening in the community and what residents need to make healthy lifestyle choices,” said Mercer.
The online survey is open to anyone 16 years of age or older in Wellington County, Dufferin County or the city of Guelph.
The survey is open to people regardless of whether they have used cannabis or not.
WDG Public Health said in a new release the anonymous survey is short and anyone who fills it out by June 30 is eligible to win one of five $100 gift cards.
The survey is available online at WDGPublicHealth.ca/pot.
Legislation to legalize the use of cannabis in Canada is making its way through the House of Commons and Senate and is expected to pass this summer.
“I can’t remember a time when a banned substance has become legal like this,” said Ferguson. “So it’s a bit of a cultural shift.”