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Let’s Talk Cannabis

We’re here to help you start dialogues about what legalized cannabis will mean in your community.

Changing times

The Canadian government has announced its intention to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis by the summer of 2018. Even though cannabis use has been relatively common in Canada, its legalization represents a major shift in public policy that can be expected to have a broad impact on Canadians.

A new partnership

Communities across Canada have expressed divergent opinions and concerns about legalized cannabis. A national partnership was formed to help communities create spaces where people can come together and build understanding of — not necessarily agreement with — each other, of themselves and of the subject. With this new understanding, community members will be able to work together more effectively.

Led by the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, the partnership includes the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the British Columbia Ministry of Health, Alberta Health Services, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services. The partnership is supported with funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program.

Promoting dialogue

Interested in starting a dialogue in your community? The partnership has developed a variety of resources to support community conversations about cannabis. Check out the tools below that your community can use to get the conversation about cannabis started. Check back often, as we will be adding to these resources.

Table 1: List of Resources for Understanding Dialogue

ItemDescription
Understanding Dialogue Dialogue is often confused with other forms of communication such as discussion or debate. Use this document as a foundation for understanding the specifics of dialogue.
Principles of Dialogue The principles of dialogue help create safe spaces where we can collectively explore the different perspectives in our communities. Use this document as a brief overview of the principles.
The Art of Listening Listening, a key element in dialogue, is more than hearing words. Use this document as a guide (or handout) on attentive listening.
The Challenge of Empathy Practicing empathy is essential as it helps us connect and understand each other better. Use this document as background (or handout) on the concept of empathy.
Asking Good Questions Asking good questions is an important element of dialogue. Use this document to develop better questions that encourage deeper exploration.
Four Dimensions of Dialogue Dialogue often involves a progression through various stages of intensity. Use this document to learn about the four different dimensions in which dialogue can occur.


Table 2: List of Resources for Facilitating Dialogue

ItemDescription
A Guide to Nurturing Community Dialogue Planning dialogue is more than a process or methodology, it is an art. Use this document as a guide to planning community dialogue.
10 Common Tools for Dialogue Nurturing dialogue can take many forms. Use this list to stimulate thinking on how to nurture dialogue in your community.
Conversation Café Conversation Cafés are open conversations in coffee shops or any other publicly accessed community setting, including restaurants, conference rooms, churches or more. Use this guide to learn how to facilitate your own Conversation Café.
Photovoice Photovoice is a participatory research method. Use this guide to learn how to adapt the methodology to encourage community dialogue.
Walking Tours Walking tours are creative ways for participants to engage with different perspectives while touring a particular setting. Use this guide to learn how to facilitate your own tour.


Partner organizations have supplied the resources on this page. CCSA cannot vouch for the accuracy or currency of the information in these resources. Inclusion of a resource on this page does not imply endorsement or authorization by CCSA.