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The Cannabis Smoking Control Act is intended to protect the public, particularly children and youth, from second hand smoke exposure, and to mitigate the risk of increased normalization.
The GNWT has chosen a “Tobacco +” model to regulate smoking cannabis in the NWT. This means that cannabis products cannot be smoked in places where tobacco products cannot currently be smoked, and areas frequented by children, youth and crowds such as playgrounds and sporting fields.
The legislation authorizes the Minister of Health and Social Services to approve, supply, and post signage that notifies the public where smoking cannabis is prohibited.
What is the GNWT doing to support residents to make informed and responsible decisions when it comes to using cannabis?
The GNWT is supporting residents to make informed and responsible decisions around cannabis use in a variety of ways. Public education and awareness efforts that are underway or being developed include:
- Web content on the health effects of cannabis
- Household mailers to all NWT residents that help guide conversation with teens on the effects of cannabis
- Indigenous language oral summaries available on web, and airing on local radio stations
- Webinars with health experts
- Teacher Resource Kits that can be used to speak with students about cannabis
- School promotional posters and backdrops to highlight health effects and risks of cannabis
- Social media campaigns to reach key audiences about cannabis use
- YouTube videos on cannabis use
- Brochures for use by the Environmental Health Officers
- Newspaper and radio ads on cannabis use
- NWT specific mailer outlining the rules for and health effects of cannabis use
- Impaired driving awareness campaigns
- Community health fair presence
As implementation rolls out, the GNWT will continue to market to and reach out to its residents on responsible cannabis use.
Every NWT physician receives funding annually for continuing medical education, as does the Northwest Territories Medical Association.