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June 21, 2018
For Immediate Release

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Waterloo – Canada’s Senate has passed a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Wilfrid Laurier University has a number of experts available to comment on the implications of this major change:

Paul Mallet, associate professor of psychology, is an expert on the behavioural and neural effects of drugs, particularly cannabis, addiction, and the effects of cannabis on the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. He is available for comment on the effects of marijuana use on memory and on the brains of young people. Contact: pmallet@wlu.ca.

Sarah Wilner, associate professor of marketing and Laurier Chair in Brand Communication, is an expert in marketing, brand management, product innovation and design, who has researched the emerging cannabis economy in U.S. states that have legalized marijuana. She is available for comment on the marketing, packaging and design of cannabis and cannabis-based products. Contact: swilner@wlu.ca or 416.817.4430 (cell).

Laurie Manwell, instructor in the departments of Biology, Health Sciences, Psychology and Criminology, is an expert in behavioural neuroscience and toxicology; psychopharmacology; addiction and mental health; and harm reduction interventions. She is available for comment on the effects of cannabis on behaviour and mental illness, as well as on the risks and benefits of vaporized marijuana. Contact: lmanwell@wlu.ca or 519.884.0710 x2996.

Maritt Kirst, assistant professor of community psychology, is an expert on mental health, addictions, and the effects of social context on substance use and mental health problems among adults and youth. She is available for comment on developing a common public health-oriented policy framework for cannabis, alcohol and tobacco in Canada. Contact: mkirst@wlu.ca or 519.884.0710 x3077

Brice Balmer, assistant professor in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, is an expert in addiction, spirituality and harm reduction. An ordained Mennonite minister, he has worked extensively in addictions treatment and is available to comment on spirituality in addictions and recovery. Contact: bbalmer@wlu.ca or 519.884.0710 x3927.

Note: Some of the faculty members listed were profiled in a recent Campus Magazine story, “Cannabis: from stigma to standardized,” which explores the issue in depth. Although this expert alert focuses on recreational marijuana, Paul Mallet and Laurie Manwell could also comment on the medical use of cannabis.

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Media Contacts:

Kevin Crowley, Director

Communications and Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

E: kcrowley@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3070

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