Two youths running down the street, one is wearing a backpack that says excited about life

Weed? Not for me thanks

"I’m not interested in trying weed, but interested in knowing the facts"

 

With cannabis use being increasingly normalized, do you ever feel pressured to try it, but don’t really want to? If you’re committed not to use weed, that’s your choice and it’s a valid one. It’s really best not to consume cannabis until your brain is fully developed at age 25.

Main Reasons Youth Don’t Use Cannabis

Doesn’t fit with values/goals

Youth abstain when it doesn’t fit with how they see themselves in terms of their values and personal character. It may also not fit well with goals they want to achieve at school, their extra-curricular activities, or the friends they prefer to hang out with. 

Concerns about psychological or physical harm

Compared to youth who consume weed, non-consumers expect more negative consequences, such as effects on their thinking and how they behave.

Lack of interest

Some youth say they are just not interested in being high. Even some youth who have used and then quit say they lost interest, or didn’t really enjoy being high.

Avoidance of social consequences

Avoiding trouble at school, with parents, at a job, or with the law is another reason youth choose not to start using cannabis.

 

Did you identify with any of the above reasons, or do you have others? 

We’d like to understand what youth are thinking, so please feel free to share your reasons for not using weed at info@whatswithweed.ca. We may add your reason to the list! 

Tips to Say “No thanks” 

Your decision not to use weed could be challenged by others, or you may perceive others will pressure you. Here are some tips to help you say, “no thanks”:

  • Hang out with people you share common interests with who are also not interested in weed right now. Think about what you enjoy doing and join a social or sports club where you can meet people like you.
  • If a friend or someone you know offers you weed, be respectful of their choice and ask that they respect yours. People are less likely to apply pressure when mutual respect is established, especially genuine friends.
  • Stand up for someone else in a social situation who doesn’t want to use weed. Sometimes it’s easier to support someone else and it makes you feel stronger about your own decision at the same time.
  • Focus on participating in social or extracurricular activities where drugs won’t be a part of it. Think about fun things to do and places you can go in your community that are drug-free
  • Leave, or move away from a situation that’s uncomfortable to you. If at a party peers give you a hard time, just move to another area or group of people. If they're high, they may not even notice you left!  If you have to use an excuse to move away or leave the party, do that instead of engaging in a confrontation.
  • Make an excuse. Say you’re not in the mood, you have asthma and you don’t want to make it worse, you have a practice, rehearsal, or a chore you need to do.

It’s also important to understand that some youth may have different experiences and social supports than you that lead them to an alternate choice. For example:

 

  • Pre-teens and teens with family members who approve of and smoke weed openly are more likely to also make it part of their life
  • Growing up in a neighbourhood where drug activity is common also increases the likelihood of trying cannabis
  • Some youth may use cannabis to self-medicate, to feel better; they may be dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, emotional pain, and use weed to escape from problems 
  • Some youth use weed out of boredom due to lack of access to extra-curricular activities

Even though you don’t use weed, complete the Check Your Cannabis Questionnaire, an anonymous self-assessment. You’ll get a personal report that shows how many other Canadian youth your age and gender do not use weed and provides some information on risks associated with different levels of use. 

 

Note: In order to successfully submit the survey you must answer the question about how much you spend on weed. Obviously, for you, that will be “zero”, but for the purposes of the questionnaire, please enter one cent (“0.01”). 

To protect your privacy on your device, after submitting the questionnaire, click the “Clear Data” button.