Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

September 21, 2011 12:15 ET

Partnership with RCMP to Focus on Potential Dangers of Marijuana Grow-Ops

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2011) - Marijuana grow-ops might be isolated inside individual houses, but what they produce has the potential to seriously affect the health and safety of entire communities. Recognizing the need to depart from traditional 'street value' messaging, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) is partnering with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the national law enforcement agency's new Marihuana Grow Initiative. CCSA's research will be used to reinforce the message that marijuana has serious effects on communities.

The new RCMP initiative, which will target illegal grow-ops across the country, aims to illustrate to Canadians the impact cannabis has on society—including funding other, often violent, criminal activity, and putting young people at risk.

"Cannabis is not a benign substance," said Michel Perron, Chief Executive Officer, CCSA. "Our research shows how destructive its use can be. For example, the incidence of cannabis use by young drivers who die in vehicle collisions is only slightly lower than alcohol use. As Canada's national agency responsible for addressing substance abuse, the CCSA is a natural partner to support the RCMP in this work. We are proud to join them in this initiative to reduce the harm caused by marijuana across Canada."

On an ongoing basis, as the RCMP conducts operations associated with the Marihuana Grow Initiative, CCSA will—along with other partners—provide its perspective on the problems associated with cannabis and grow-ops.

"Vital to this strategy, are our partners" stated RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mike Cabana. "The RCMP is partnering with people and organizations who will present evidence about the negative impacts of marihuana on our communities, delivered from their individual perspectives."

Studies indicate that one-quarter of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 have used cannabis in the past year, and CCSA supports efforts to reduce access of cannabis to young adults, especially those who are more likely to engage in risky behaviour such as driving under the influence of the drug.

For additional information and statistics about the harms associated with cannabis, see our fact sheet.

About CCSA (www.ccsa.ca)

With a legislated mandate to reduce alcohol- and other drug-related harms, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse provides leadership on national priorities, fosters knowledge-translation within the field, and creates sustainable partnerships that maximize collective efforts. CCSA is a registered charity and receives funding support from Health Canada.

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