Webinaires What happens to people who self-medicate with cannabis after legalization?

The McGill Research Group on Health and Law (RGHL) based at the McGill University’s Faculty of Law would like to share the following event with you, as it may be of interest to your organization and its members. The RGHL organizes events relating to health and law, including a seminar series which is meant to share academic research with the broader public and generate discussion. We invite your organization to share this broadly among your members and hope you can attend.

It is our pleasure to invite you to the third McGill Research Group on Health and Law (RGHL) seminar of the year! This talk will be delivered by Dr. Marilou Gagnon. Her talk will be entitled What happens to people who self-medicate with cannabis after legalization?”

The event will be held Monday, March 27th, 2023, from 1:00-2:30PM EDT, with Dr. Gagnon presenting on Zoom, and the possibility for guests to gather in person in Room 201 in New Chancellor Day Hall (3660 Peel St, Montreal, QC), with lunch served.

Une attestation de participation sera émise sur demande aux membres du Barreau du Québec et de la Chambre des notaires.

Registration required. Please kindly confirm your attendance by filling out this form. A Zoom link will be sent out ahead of the presentation. You can also find our Facebook event here.

Abstract: “What happens to people who self-medicate with cannabis after legalization?”

In October 2018, Canada became the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize cannabis. The Cannabis Act is a complex statute, described by Bennett and Young (2022)* as “a hybrid criminal and regulatory statute that has some welcome developments, some questionable offences, and borrows heavily from the offences and penalties of the [CDSA] and [TVPA], and in some instances, with harsher penalties” (p. 57). In my work, I seek to understand how this statute and British Columbia’s legislative framework impact people who self-medicate with cannabis. More specifically, I seek to understand how members of this community – a community that has spearheaded cannabis legal reform – experience legalization in various aspects of their lives as they continue to self-medicate with cannabis. Drawing on case law, policy and media analysis, scholarly literature, empirical work, and anecdotal evidence from community members, this presentation will take a closer look at the regulation of space, smoking, access, and health in the context of legalization. It will conclude by raising critical questions and discussing broader implications for public health, policy, and the law.                              

  *Bennett, R. & Young A. (2022). Canada’s Cannabis Act: Annotation & Commentary. LexisNexis


Dr. Marilou Gagnon, RN, ACRN, LLM, PhD is a Professor at the UVic School of Nursing and Scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR). She also holds a casual position as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Urban Health at St. Paul’s Hospital where she supports in-hospital harm reduction policy, research, and practice. Her program of research seeks to address gaps in knowledge that have the potential to inform public debate and policies, while also advancing the rights and the health of people who use drugs, people living with HIV, and people experiencing homelessness. In recognition of her research and scholarship in the field of HIV, she received the 2023 CAHR-CANFAR Excellence in Research Award. She has also received several awards for her contribution to advocacy and activism, including the 2015 Outstanding Advocate Award, 2018 Hero Nurse Award, 2018 Leadership in Political Action Award, and the 2022 Provost Award for Advocacy and Activism. Passionate about media and communications, she has authored dozens of op-eds, completed hundreds of media interviews, and experimented with other modalities including, blogging, podcasting, and radio broadcasting. She is currently completing a Media and Medicine certificate at Harvard Medical School to become a more impactful storyteller and advocate. 

March 27th, 2023, from 1:00-2:30PM EDT