Lesson Planning | PPL4O: Healthy Active Living Education
When I was in school, my health and physical education teachers used Loss Framed Messaging (LFM) to scare us away from cannabis use, but LFM is only effective some of the time. LFM mobilizes fear to highlight what you stand to lose if you continue with a behaviour. The Health Promotion course I took in post-secondary describes LFM as most effective when the goal was to prevent undesirable behaviour. The problem with this method is this: "Who decides what is desirable and undesirable behaviour?" Granted, cannabis use was illegal when I was in secondary school and is still illegal for folks under 19 years of age, however, demonizing cannabis and its uses is deeply rooted in ignorance.
Cannabis is viewed as a sacred herb by numerous religious and cultural groups. In traditional cannabis education lessons that use LFM we instil in our students that anyone who uses cannabis is inherently bad, which perpetuates racism, classism, and discrimination against those with chronic illness. This lesson plan was designed to highlight these complexities associated with cannabis use while also highlighting the developmental risks and legal proceedings associated with underaged cannabis use. Ideally, this lesson plan would help prepare grade 12 students to make informed decisions about cannabis use after they turn 19 that benefit their mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.