The legalization of cannabis across Canada has enabled adults across the country to readily access and consume cannabis products at their own discretion. We are certainly not against this, but we understand the risk open cannabis use can have on two groups in particular: children and pets.
In consideration of these two vulnerable groups, we thought we would outline some tips and good practices that you can use to prevent dangerous and/or irresponsible use of cannabis.
When engaging in cannabis use, here are some things to consider:
Being open with your kids about cannabis is a great way to help them understand the plant. Furthermore, as their parent, you are a trusted source of information and your communication with them on the matter can have a lasting impact. A lot of the cultural stigma surrounding cannabis in modern society seems to stem from both ignorance and misinformation. As a parent, or as someone who consumes cannabis around children, you have the opportunity to educate them on responsible and safe use. Ensuring the children in your life understand that cannabis is not meant for minors is also important for you to communicate. As adults, it is our responsibility to encourage kids to ask questions about cannabis. Furthermore, to make certain that they are well equipped to make decisions about cannabis usage when they are old enough to do so.
There is nothing wrong with frequent cannabis consumption. In fact, one of earlier posts on the health benefits of cannabis suggests frequent use can have positive side effects. However, choosing a time to enjoy cannabis responsibly is important, especially when kids are in the picture. For frequent cannabis users, we advise picking a time after all of your daily duties are complete, when the kids are in bed and when you don’t have to drive the until the next morning is a perfect time to indulge.
Keeping these three words in mind can help promote safe cannabis use. Ensure that all your cannabis and accessories are in a place where they cannot be easily accessed by children or pets. You know your home better than anyone else, so find a place that receives very little traffic, that little arms can’t reach, where you can discretely store your cannabis and accessories.
As we already know, pets have a highly developed sense of smell, which means they can sniff out your cannabis faster than you can. Keeping this in mind as responsible pet owners means that we must store our cannabis accordingly. Simply putting it in a Ziploc bag on a countertop or low-level shelf simply won’t do. Pets are smart and can get into all sorts of trouble very quickly. Make sure that you are storing your cannabis in containers that cannot be bitten or chewed through, and that the lid cannot be easily removed if the container is shifted or dropped suddenly.
While this should be a common sense practice, it’s worth including. When using cannabis, keep exhaled smoke and vapour away from pets and children. Under no circumstances should a child or animal be forcefully or passively exposed to second-hand cannabis in these forms.
For more information about safer use of cannabis, check out some of the points outlined on the NT Health and Social Services site here.