In 2017, the Government of Canada announced its intention to legalize non-medical cannabis as of October 17, 2018. Since then, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have been working to ensure the public and all public services are ready for the anticipated change.

For students throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, the legalization of cannabis should have little to no impact on their daily lives. It remains illegal for anyone under the age of 19 to purchase, possess, consume, or grow cannabis products. However, in recognizing that our families and school communities have questions and concerns about how cannabis consumption may impact on individuals, the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is making trusted information sources available for review. Be aware, there will be many groups and individuals sharing information on cannabis. However, the District wishes to ensure our school communities have access to trusted, credible resources.

Before providing additional information to help inform your family's decisions, here are Five Important Facts for Families on Canada's Cannabis Legalization.

More information on the points covered can be found in the resources listed below:

  1. Cannabis legalization will be in effect as of October 17, 2018.

  2. In Newfoundland and Labrador, in order to legally purchase, possess, consume, or grow cannabis, you must be 19 years of age - much like alcohol or cigarettes.

  3. There is scientific evidence to suggest that the use of cannabis products before the brain has fully developed (at approximately 21-25 years of age) could have potential consequences relating to brain function and development.

  4. Under the District's Tobacco Free policy (PROG-316) and Student Search and Seizure policy (PROG-306), amendments to include cannabis products are underway. Currently, the District does not permit smoking, smokeless tobacco or any product that mimics tobacco in (or on) District property, including in schools, facilities, vehicles or in any mode of transportation used to transport students. The use or consumption of cannabis and cannabis products are to be included in these policies and will not be permitted on school property.

  5. Information on cannabis is covered in a number of curriculum areas within the province's public school system, along with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and other controlled substances, in an effort to ensure students are aware of the associated risks.
Please find below (click to expand) information and credible resources available from subject matter experts tasked with providing accurate information to inform the Federal Government's public education campaign.

Current District policies relevant to the legalization of cannabis include the following:

Amendments to current policies to reflect the legalization of cannabis for individuals over the age of 19 are underway.
The following information includes areas of the public education curriculum which currently address drug education. It provides an opportunity for educators and parents to have further discussions with students around the new legislation for non-medical cannabis consumption.

Within the province's K-12 education curricula, there are several outcomes related to drug education that now provides more opportunities to include the latest in cannabis education to ensure a timely learning experience for students. Curricula with drug education outcomes are:

  • Health 4, 5 and 6: Drug Education unit
  • Health 8: Drug Education unit
  • Health 9: Unit 1, 2 and 4
  • Healthy Living 1200: Controlling Substances
  • Human Dynamics 2201: Relationships unit
More information on the province's k-12 education curricula can be explored through the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development's website.

In-School Partner Programing
Marijuana can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to operate a vehicle, machinery or to perform a job. The resources outlined below focus on the known facts around cannabis and efforts to ensure drivers are aware of each person's legal responsibility to safe and sober driving.

Families need to open the lines of communication with their children to ensure they are informed and understand the potential risks associated with the use of cannabis, and the possible impact on individuals' ability to make sound decisions. These resources focus on understanding the issue of legalization and how to discuss these issues with young people.

For educators who wish to explore more information to help inform themselves, or take advantage of curriculum opportunities to expand student learning, the following resources focus on educational-based discussions with youth on cannabis.

If you have any further questions related to cannabis legalization or use, please consult your local law enforcement agency or medical professional to discuss.


95 Elizabeth Avenue
St. John's, NL · A1B 1R6
Tel: (709) 758-2372 · Fax: (709) 758-2706
95 Elizabeth Avenue
St. John's, NL · Canada · A1B 1R6
Tel: (709) 758-2372 · Fax: (709) 758-2706

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