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Young Canadians have long arrived at university campuses across the country and embraced cannabis, but no one really knows how using the drug affects parts of their life such as their grades, class attendance or the amount of alcohol they drink.
Details are even hazy on how many people are getting high during this formative time in their lives.
That’s why Zach Walsh, a clinical psychologist and cannabis researcher, is planning a long-term study of roughly 500 students at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus starting this semester, which ends in April, months before the drug is legalized by Ottawa this summer.
Dr. Walsh is one of 14 academics awarded a combined total of $1.4-million by the federal government Wednesday to complete a wide range of cannabis research projects aimed at helping Canadians understand the impact of the country’s new pot laws.
“Everyone overestimates peer use and tends to think that cannabis is more prevalent, that other students are using cannabis more frequently and in greater quantities than they actually are,” he said. “We want to see if the norms come more into line with reality now that it’s an open conversation – or a more open conversation.”
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