New program to help youth address the risks of cannabis use and possession

Island youth will soon have access to a new  diversion and educational justice program to help them better understand the health, legal and social risks of cannabis use and possession. 

The program called Rethink was developed collaboratively by the Departments of Health and Wellness and Justice and Public Safety to teach youth prevention strategies and provide them with a better understanding of the risks related to cannabis use and possession so they can make healthy choices.  

“Young people are the future of our province and we have a responsibility to do what we can to help them reach their full potential. Programs like Rethink are an excellent example of how we can effectively divert young people from the justice system and equip them with good decision making skills and knowledge of the harms and consequences of cannabis use and possession.”

- Justice and Public Safety Minister and Attorney General, Bloyce Thompson

Rethink uses an early intervention approach and brings together youth program participants, government, support networks and community members. The principles of this program focus on providing young people with:

  • educational and prevention strategies to make positive life choices;
  • ongoing information on cannabis use and possession; 
  • options to direct them away from the justice system; and
  • support with provincial cannabis-related offences.

“Working together with community is essential to helping young Islanders find positive ways to address mental health and addictions challenges,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, James Aylward. “We will continue to offer evidence-based information through public education and programs like Rethink so that they can make the right choices for themselves.”

Rethink is available to youth between the ages of 12 and 19 by referral. The program is expected to begin this summer. To learn more visit  Youth Justice Services.

Media contact:
Vicki Tse
Department of Justice and Public Safety

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