'Let's Talk Cannabis' event scheduled in Bonavista

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Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation leads community dialogue with Eastern Health

Looking to talk cannabis?

There is an upcoming dialogue in Bonavista based on the pending legalization of marijuana.

The Tip-A-Vista Wellness Foundation, in partnership with Eastern Health’s Mental Health and Addictions program will be hosting a community dialogue as part of a national “Let’s Talk Cannabis” project.

Occurring in four different provinces, the talk is coordinated by the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) and is funded by Health Canada — Drug Treatment Fund.

“Coming together and truly sharing our concerns, perspectives, listening and being listened to can and will bring our residents closer and will garner a sense of respect,” Eliza Swyers of Tip-A-Vista told The Packet. “Each opinion and concern can help us reach a better understanding of each other and can help find better solutions for our communities and residents of all ages.”

Swyers says it’s important to note the event is not a debate or even a discussion, the dialogue is not meant to come to a decision at the end, it’s merely a chance to talk about it.

“It’s not a debate or discussion where at the end of the night we make a decision. It’s a dialogue whereby people share their concerns, whether positive or negative, so we can share as a community and learn more.”

Also, the event is not in any way a response to the recent news of a potential cannabis grow-operation in Trinity Bay North. Swyers says this event was planned by the government in preparation for the legalization of the recreational market.

“This had nothing to do with it … we want to invite people from the area to attend.

“When we were invited to do this, we didn’t even know the possibilities in Port Union.”

Swyers explains there will be microphones around for people to voice opinions or concerns, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions or statements anonymously as well.

“The consensus of those attending the meeting is that we want to provide a safe, open space whereby all could freely express themselves without feeling judged and how important it is to maintain a sense of respect for all people,” says Swyers.

The dialogue event is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at the Garrick Theatre.

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