November 5, 2003

Teens learn the facts about cannabis at Youth Summit

NEWMARKET - Over 300 high students learned the facts about cannabis at today's Youth Summit on Cannabis in Markham.  The one-day workshop was a partnership effort of York Region Health Services, York Regional Police, York Region District School Board, York Catholic District School Board, Addiction Services for York Region and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Today's Youth Summit provided students with balanced, factual and accurate information about cannabis. Presentations centred on the health, social, legal and political issues around cannabis.  It was the first event of its kind in Canada.
An Ontario study of student drug use* indicates that:
 29.8% of students grades 7 to OAC reported using cannabis in the past year, in comparison to 23.6% who reported smoking cigarettes
 22% of cannabis users consume more than 40 times per year
 26.6% of cannabis users consume weekly and almost 9% of users use cannabis daily
 8.4% who used cannabis within the past year reported that their attempts to stop were unsuccessful
 19.3% of all youth drivers who use cannabis reported consuming cannabis within one hour prior to driving
 Studies indicate that onset of use begins as young as grade six
 Student use of cannabis in Ontario has been increasing gradually since 1991 and is currently the highest rate on record
Public, Catholic and Private high schools across York Region were invited to select 3-5 students to attend the one-day Summit. The ultimate goal of the program was to motivate and assist these student leaders to develop and implement student-led initiatives within their own schools and surrounding communities.
The Summit was held at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School in Markham, with presentations by:
 Detective Sergeant Mike Klimm, York Regional Police, expert on grow-house operations and organized crime
 Joanne Lechowicz, Clinical Supervisor and family and youth specialist at Addiction Services for York Region
Cannabis Fact Sheet

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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